11-26-19 - Preemptive Gratitude

(You can listen to this reflection here.)

It’s Tuesday. What are you thankful for? “But we don’t have to be thankful till Thursday…” you might be thinking. I did. But I like to be ahead of the curve, so why not start the thankfulness part of Thanksgiving a few days ahead? Then we’ll be all warmed up when the Day comes around.

I’m only half-joking… Thankfulness can be a great antidote to stress. If we’re devoting at least part of our attention to awareness of what we’re grateful for, there’s that much less space available to worry about what we’ve done, not done, or don’t know when we’ll get done.

So today, as you wander a grocery store – give thanks for all the food and all the people who got it there, and all the people who work there, and the resources to buy it… what else comes to mind?

If you’re cooking, give thanks for the recipes and where they came from, the ingredients, other meals like this; the people who will be gathering around the table… what else?

If you’re packing, give thanks for the clothing and the circumstances by which you came to own those things, when you’ve worn them before… what else?

If you’re cleaning – give thanks for the rooms and who lives in them and the blessings they’ve hosted. And if you’re preparing to see family, there are some thank you’s…

If you’re traveling, give thanks for the technology that makes it possible to get from here to there.. and if getting from here to there ends up taking longer than we hoped or planned, I guess we’ll have that much more time to think of things to be grateful for.

Well, I don’t have to tell you how to be grateful! You’re likely better at it than I am. The “gratitude as stress reducer” thing just might catch on, though… As soon as I feel a stressful thought coming on, I’m going to acknowledge it, and then chase it with a grateful one. Care to join me?

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