Gratitude is More Than a 9-letter Word
(6 min read)
For hundreds of years, we have heard stories of the “Giving of Thanks” during this time of year. The Feast – The Harvest – Turkey Day – Thanksmas – Day of Blessing – Friendsgiving (which appeared in our vocabulary apparently around 2007. I don’t know where I have been because I just heard of this term last week. Catch up, Peggy.
We have all heard twists regarding the inception of the last Thursday of November. So many myths and glorified fairy-like tales have risen to the top of this beloved time of year. I mean we all want to believe there was an I-am-sorry, open-armed feast of two war enemies calling a truce over a basted turkey and apple pie after a fun-filled afternoon of shucking a bushel of corn together.
This surely is a time to gather with family and friends and share in gratefulness, love and continued desire to embed treasured memories for generations to come. And to dampen any myths you might have about the “true meaning” or “Thanksgiving origination,” you can lean on the good-old Internet. There are Gobbles and Gobbles ? of stuff there including disagreements on the actual date of the first feast, the menu, whether it was a welcomed, peace gathering, or a political effort, who was actually there, and where it took place.
A few uncertainties appear to begin with the actual date: was it held in 1621 or 1637? Was it in Massachusetts or Connecticut? Were the “English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth” the only non-Indians “there” and which tribes were their guests: the Wampanoag, Pequot or ??? I stand upon the cornucopia-dressed dining room table and declare, I am not an expert in this field. Therefore, below I am sharing a few fun links for your reading pleasure and personal decision making.
I am going to get back on task and focus on my blog topic today: Gratitude is More Than a 9-letter Word. In my profession, the word gratitude comes up a lot especially when trying to guide clients to enhance their self-love. and self-care ?? ?. I think 100% of my female clients, anyway, have tried gratitude journals or lists or stickies, or even meditation rituals. Didn’t Oprah start the gratitude journal concept?
When we begin our day or even our thought processes (heaven forbid our conversations) with what we are grateful for, often we can immediately decrease stress, redirect a hyper-active mind and dampen negativity even if just for just a few moments all by reflecting on the wondrous happenings in our lives; shifting from what we “don’t have” to what we “do have.” Not as simple as we often think it is. If it were, we would have a regular habit of it.
Frankly, we simply suck – I MEAN MORE THAN SUCK – at being grateful. We suck at the ability to first focus on the positives or what we should be proud of before gently focusing on areas of improvement. Most of us focus on all the shit we suck at first and all the things that could be or should be better at in our lives. The “grass is greener on the other side.” Which, by the way, prompted me to look up this idiom’s origin for you – you’re welcome. (PS: it even relates to corn-not joking):
[ “Origin of The Grass is Always Greener is a Latin proverb cited by Erasmus of Rotterdam and was translated into English by Richard Taverner in 1545, as: “The corne in an another man’s ground seemeth ever more fertile and plentiful then doth our own.” (The corn in another man’s ground seems ever more fertile and plentiful than our own does.)” *thank you to writingexplained.org ]
We lose sight of our gratitude so quickly. For instance, we go from being grateful we have a car. at all to all of a sudden being ungrateful because it isn’t a four-door SUV, or it’s black, not white, or it’s three years old, forgetting that a few months back we were riding public transportation? without four rubber tires of our own.
When I ask my clients to start writing down what they are grateful for, I ask them to either start or end their day jotting things down-what comes to mind. In the next session, they share ever so proudly how they accomplished the “task.” Done! Check! Next! REALLY?! It is time for the Coach Peggy Push-Back. “I don’t want to see lists of just “people” or “things” or “feelings” such as I am grateful for the sun, roof over my head, my husband, my back doesn’t hurt. I want to see specific details…the who, what, why, where, when, and how you are grateful. A few sentences. Your story. The more details we think about, jot down and share, the more they embed in our memory. Use some damn adjectives and adverbs, sista.”
I am immensely grateful for the sun because I am blessed to live in an area where the sun shines nearly every single day. It makes me feel vibrant; alive. I love how it dances on the palm trees outside my bedroom window. It improves my health enhancing my Vitamin D deficiency. It helps me meditate at a deeper level. I feel connected to something higher and deeper than myself. Being with the sun drastically plunges the odds of my being a royal bitch. I feel younger with a bronzed tint. After all, tan fat is prettier than white fat. YEAH, I SAID IT.
I am immeasurably grateful for the man in my life. My guy cooks, shops, cleans, doesn’t piss on the floor, does his own laundry, will go get me cough drops when my throat is sore, buys me plug-in, unicorn slippers when I complain my feet are cold, treats me with rock-salt topped, dark-chocolate caramels, and supports me every single minute of every single day whether as a mother or business owner. Even when I have made poor choices, he supports me. AND, before you ask…yes, my Danish Viking is real. I manifested this man after sucking wad at a few relationships. I begged, “Whoever is up there in that gorgeous sky listening to me, I need a man that will handle the food in this damn house including going and getting the stupid stuff. I hate dealing with it. (People with eating issues still feel that even when in recovery). I want a man that will pick up his shit. I deserve a man that treats me like the Queen I am.” AND WALLAH. The Canuck was plunked right into the middle of a Colorado desert and happened to be hanging and banging at the gym where I met him and became his trainer. No judging! And well the rest is history. PS: He does call me QUEEN…QUEEN P, and I never even asked. Love this man!
Those examples are the process of truly being GRATEFUL. I didn’t just say “I am GRATEFUL for the sun or my man!”
My point: create a habit of embedding a deeper connection and true meaning with every single “person” or “thing” or “feeling” you are grateful for. Embed those thoughts into your cellular structure so they spend more time with you than just one Thursday a year. Train yourself, your children and grandchildren, friends, and peers to recognize gratitude. Write it down, say it, and share it and start over again and again and again. Til death do you and this process part.
We ALL need to do a better job experiencing deep gratitude so let’s go for nailing gratitude over 50% of 2020 not just 24 hours.
Because gratitude is more than a 9-letter word…
All Things Wellness, LLC
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