During the season of Thanksgiving, I continue to reflect on all that I have to be thankful for through a daily practice of giving thanks. I do my best to intentionally practice thanksgiving as least twice a day.
I begin my day with a practice of gratitude as I wake up in the early morning. Before I open my eyes, I recount a list of appreciation for foundational elements and moments in my life, such as my heath, family, friends, job, work team, our home, and the beautiful city we get to live in. This list varies from day to day, but just a little bit of time is enough to remember the list is ever growing. My days always go more smoothly when I acknowledge all that I have to be grateful for before getting out of my warm and cozy bed.
Often during my day I will go back to that space of gratitude in response to things that I witness. Whether it is seeing kindness between living beings, a stunning sunset, or experiencing good fortune that lands in my path, I try my best to continue to be mindful and give thanks.
In the evenings, sitting down to dinner, I share with my family another daily practice of giving thanks. Our foster son started this tradition 19 years ago, a tradition he’d learned while living with another foster family. Before dinner, they held hands, while each person appreciated something that had happened in their day. This simple act that we do before dinner each night has been an amazing gift. There have been nights when it has brought our family or our guests to tears. The touching moments of sharing in our abundance adds immeasurably to each member of our family’s lives. For the art of appreciation, and the many fortunes I have to appreciate, I am truly grateful.
What are your practices of giving thanks? Do you have a tradition you can share with others? What are you thankful for?
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