Here we are in November, which snuck up just about as fast as every other month – didn’t it?! This month has a very organic theme of giving thanks, and we will embrace it here on Praxis. Day to day life can be so busy, we sometimes forget to give thanks for all we have, so to be presented with a month where thanksgiving is in the air seems like a pretty lucky, built in reminder.
Gratitude is more than a word to me, it is a guiding principle and core value of my life. Unfortunately, I don’t express it as much as I should, or even in the ways that might be best. Life gets in the way of following all of our precepts to a T each and every day. But this month, I will renew my commitment to embracing gratitude as an integral part of my life, and I encourage you to examine where and how you have room for gratitude in yours. I always find when I do live my life with gratitude in the forefront, I go through my days with a very strong sense of contentedness and feel much lighter – bonus.
Before I go on, I want to take a moment and thank the world at large for the incredible outpouring of support New York City has received in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Thankfully, Brooke Stone Lifestyle Management employees and clients are recovering, and we wish each person affected by the storm great strength in the rebuilding days to come.
Here are a few things you can do every day to work with your definition of gratitude:
1. Say thank you. To everyone. Including bus drivers, Starbucks employees (even when they mess up your drink, they didn’t do it on purpose to spite you – I promise), to your parents, grandparents and siblings if you are lucky enough to have them around, to your spouse or partner, to your spiritual force, whatever that may be. Just say thank you. Honestly, you don’t even need to mean it the first few times, but merely saying the words to anyone who helps you in even the tiniest way will soon feel meaningful not only to that person, but to you.
2. Do the Facebook thing people are doing. Write one status update each day this month describing something you are thankful for.
3. Give positive feedback. Telling someone they did a good job, and describing the great parts of their work is a way of expressing not only gratitude for a job well done, but appreciation. Try this, “Co-worker, you did a great job on that project. I thought the way you communicated everyone’s particular responsibilities and outcomes was very clear and I appreciate how available you made yourself for questions. Thanks!”
4. Once a day, at the same time (before bed, when you wake up, lunch time, whatever) say thank you out loud to no one and nothing in particular. This thank you will mean different things on different days you will find, but it will always mean something.
5. Bring a thoughtful hostess gift to the wonderful person who is cooking you Thanksgiving dinner, or inviting you into their home on any occasion. And then hand write a thank you note the next day. These gestures are small, but deeply impactful. My new favorite hostess gift is this Harry & David Moose Munch popcorn which costs under $10 and is beyond delicious. My favorite thank you notes I make myself by cutting a sheet of card stock into quadrants and stamping a “b” on the front with a good old stamp and ink kit.
Now, a few public thank you’s to people in my life who may not hear it enough, in no particular order:
- My husband, who has the patience of a god, gives great advice, and loads the dishwasher like a pro. Also he loves me very much, even though I know I can be a handful…or an armful at times.
- My parents and grandmother, for hosting me this weekend, and for hosting me throughout my entire life. For teaching me pretty much everything and reminding me I still know relatively little in the grand scheme of the world and have a long way to go. And for being there every step of the way.
- My employees at Brooke Stone Lifestyle Management, who go above and beyond to make our client’s lives better and easier, and who get as excited as I do over office supplies.
- Our clients at Brooke Stone Lifestyle Management, who trust us with some of the most important things going on in their lives and are kind and generous to us at every turn.
- My friends, who speak to me truthfully, even when I don’t want to hear it, and don’t make fun of me for my eggnog latte obsession.
Cheers to this month of giving thanks, and stay tuned for posts on this theme from our LMPs and a special guest blogger!
Post authored by Brooke Stone.