#my3thanks

Gratitude Campaign Badge
USC’s Gratitude Campaign

When I checked my email the other day, I was surprised and happy to see an email from the community manager at USC School of Social Work with an invitation to their Gratitude Blog Carnival.

I was surprised that they had found my 100-Day Gratitude Challenge and happy to receive an invitation to write a blog post on gratitude thus pulling me out of hibernation to add one more post to this blog before another year comes to an end.

So—here are the three things I’m grateful for in 2013; family, friends and community.

Sometimes we don’t realize how important family is until a major challenge occurs. I feel very grateful and blessed to have a family that is there for me, no matter what.

Some of you know from my blog posts about the challenges I face living with the debilitating chronic illness of RA. Not only is RA physically devastating, it can have devastating emotional, social, mental and financial consequences as well.

If it were not for my family, I don’t know where I would be. I love my family so much that I want to hug each and every one of them every day.

It’s easy to take family for granted or harbor resentments and ill-feelings when we are caught up in our day-to-day tales of survival. Sometimes it takes a shock to wake us up to the fact that, “In the End, Only Love Matters. ”

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little effort, we can choose to wake up through the daily practice of gratitude.

Next to family, there is nothing more important than kind, loving and supportive friends. I am so very blessed to have friends of this caliber.

As with my family, I don’t know where I would be without my friends. Friends who go above and beyond the call of duty, who show up every time you need help without having to call to ask because they just somehow seem to know when to show up.

Sometimes friends are all a person has. Maybe their family is gone or not available for some reason. Friends become a major importance in these circumstances because everyone needs somebody to be there for them.

I cannot tell you how often I give thanks for my friends.

Community work is a world all of its own that has entered my life during the last two years. There is a different energy in community work than what I am use to in the “business world”.  Community is about collaboration and win-win scenarios, at least that is my experience thus far.

I like the idea of working together for the common good of all people that includes treating the environment and people with kindness, respect and dignity. Surely one day we will figure out on a grand scale how to meld business and community through new models of business so that no one is left behind and each one of us has an opportunity to achieve our full potential.

Through community involvement I feel so very grateful to meet incredibly creative, talented and energetic individuals who never cease to amaze me. There is so much good going on in the world when you stop to take a look. Awesome People Doing Amazing Things for their communities and our world.

I feel blessed to be a part of a great community where wonderful things are happening.

What three things are you grateful for in 2013?

As always, thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate your time and feel honored that you visited my blog.

Much love to all.

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The Gift of Gratitude: Day 64

These days, it seems that, everywhere I turn it’s all about gratitude.

During the past week, I’ve received countless emails that all state the same darn thing. Most of them read something like this, “To show you how much we appreciate you, we are slashing 75% off our prices, but you must act now, before it’s too late and this incredible deal goes away forever.”

Isn’t that grand, isn’t that wonderful. Do they really think we are that gullible? First of all, if they can slash 75% off their price and still make a profit, does this mean that they are gouging you throughout the rest of the year? Do they really appreciate YOU or are they only interested in selling you something? I could be in a minority here, but when I get a message like that, it irks me because what I hear them saying is, “We are so full of gratitude for you, now give us your credit card number. Please.” Is it just me, or does gratitude and sale belong in the same sentence?

Turkey

Okay, now that I have that rant off my chest, I’ve attached a link to an email I received from the Institute of HeartMath. The article discusses the physiological benefits of gratitude. As far as I can tell it doesn’t say anything about buying something. That means physical benefits with no cost. I like that. Seriously, the article talks about heart rhythm coherence from positive uplifting feelings. I like that too.

Institute of HeartMath Feeds Food for Thought with Science of Thanksgiving Gratitude.

I think the article clearly states that we can all benefit hugely from sustained feelings of gratitude not just a few days a year, but everyday of the year.

Another email I received this week appropriately states the experience I’ve personally discovered in working with the concept of gratitude through my 100 day gratitude challenge. The email came from “Insight of the Day“. The quote read, “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” William Arthur Ward, 1921-1994, Writer.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving.

The Gift of Gratitude: Day 18 and 19

Beautiful weather

What a great Thanksgiving weekend! Balmy temperatures, blue skies and tasty meals.

Tasty turkey

I appreciate my mom for preparing a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. Unconditional love in action, that’s my mom. I am grateful to have her for my mom.

I am grateful for all the safe travelling we did on the busy highways.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!