Thanksgiving will be celebrated throughout the United States.
People across the country will gather with family and friends. They’ll share their much loved comfort foods, as I say; ‘eating until it ouches them’, hoping all the while the calories and fat grams will remain on the serving platters.
Many hosts will ask their guests to go round the table to share what they’re thankful for.
A Seed is Planted
Since I was a child, I’ve made lists of what I’m grateful for, every Thanksgiving. It’s become a meaningful and powerful tradition for me.
While in grade school, a young teacher gave us this assignment around the Thanksgiving holiday:
‘Write down all the things about you that you are thankful for, grateful for or that make you happy.’
And the coolest thing ever was when she told the class she was never going to read our lists. They were for our eyes only.
Think about being in elementary school and not having a teacher review, correct or edit your work. We could put anything on that paper, anything at all. It was so liberating.
Like many, I didn’t have the easiest childhood. This inspired lesson gave me time to think about and focus on all the positive things I had going for me, despite my impediments, at home.
I found that once I started my list, it got longer and longer, with no effort at all. One thought triggered another and the blessings and things I liked about me began coming so quickly I wrote down trigger words on another paper, for fear that I would overlook something I wanted on my list of thanksgivings.
These are some of the things I recall from my list:
- I like my dimples, so I smile a lot
- I like being tall
- I have food, clothes and a house to live in
- I love my little sister
- I like to explore and go on adventures
- I like helping others
- I am an excellent speller
- I have my own public library card
- I love to read and imagine
- I love school and my teachers like me
When class ended, the teacher instructed us to fold the paper up and hide it in a book, a pencil case, a notebook, somewhere in our desks.
She then gave us our next assignment:
‘Whenever you’re sad, or you don’t feel good about yourself, or what’s going on in your life, promise me that you’ll take your list from your hiding place and read it, from beginning to end.’
And so, the seed was planted…
Renewing the Tradition
Every Thanksgiving Day, I always make time to think of the things I’m thankful for in my life.
When I’m done creating that list, I think of all of Steven’s traits and characteristics for which I’m grateful. It warms my heart and puts a smile on my face.
This Turkey Day, I’m choosing to bring back the assignment my teacher gave to our primary school class.
I’m cheer leading me.
Yep, I’m making a list of what makes me unique, special and one of a kind.
These are some of the things that will be on my list:
- I still like my dimples, so I still smile a lot
- I still like being tall
- I love and adore Steven and Mamasan
- I’m blessed to have Steven, Mamasan and ‘the fam’ in my Life
- I’m generous with, and protective of, those I care about
- I’m quick, funny and have a great sense of humor
- I easily find the ‘positive’ or the ‘Life Lesson’ in any situation
- I’m tenacious
- I have a very unique perspective
- I am blessed with an abundance of many wonderful friends
- I’m curious and inquisitive
I’ll be sure to also include the things in Life that make me happy, too.
Things like: my yoga practice, babies and kids, a full moon, Pilate’s classes, dogs, thunderstorms, changing seasons, and so on.
What Makes You Unique
I think you would benefit from doing this, too.
‘Why?’ you ask.
Allow me to pose, the following questions to you:
- Who cheer leads for you?
- How many people are out there, singing your praises?
- Who’s instilling you with confidence?
- How many people encourage you, on a daily basis?
- Who’s there to celebrate the “Wins!” in your life, even the tiny ones?
- Some days, you can’t tell if you’re the windshield or the bug. What do you do to get out of that funk?
You take out your, ‘All the things about me that I’m thankful for, grateful for or that make me happy’ list, and you read it.
After reading your positive affirmations, suddenly, you start to feel warm inside. You begin to feel glad that you’re you.
You’re proud of the gifts and qualities instilled within you. You’re acknowledging there are things you’ve done that make you exceptional.
Your self-esteem begins to soar. And, you feel a bit more certain that you’re a part of something greater than yourself.
B-u-t, you can’t read your list if you’ve never written it, right?
If you’ve never put pen to paper, how are you ever going to refer back to it?
You can’t go to your secret hiding spot and indulge in the mental equivalent of your very-most-favorite treat, if you’ve never bothered to write your extraordinary traits down, now can you?
You’ve never made the time to cheer lead and root for you.
Say it isn’t so.
If you don’t feel you’re worth cheering about, why would you ever expect anyone else to realize just how wonderful you are?
So, this Thanksgiving, please join me in re-energizing an old lesson plan.
Write down all the things that make you spectacular, wonderful, unique and amazing.
I’ll even help you get started by giving you the first one; you are enough.
You can get your personal inventory going in as little as 10 minutes, so too little time’s an unacceptable excuse.
Tuck your list away somewhere and review it when you want to or whenever you need to.
You can read it on the train, while watching a practice or before you nod off to sleep. You choose the time. You choose the place.
It’s quick and easy to create your list and your only investment is a little time.
I guarantee the returns on your investment will be amazing.
They’ll be nearly as amazing as you are!
I’d be honored if you’d share some of the qualities on your list, with me. Please use the form below.