rest and be thankful
thanksgiving for beginners 🦃
Hello dear reader,
There’s a beautiful waypoint, on the A83 as you drive into Scotland that I just love. I love the fact that someone at the Argyll Forestry Commission had the wherewithal to give this place an active title. It’s a place that asks you to do something as you arrive. Its name is Rest and Be Thankful.
What a good idea that is, to rest and be thankful. Whether we are on a long actual journey, or the road we are currently trudging feels full of twists, turns and hairpin bends, stopping, resting and being thankful and grateful is a helpful practice to build into our lives. Our American cousins are gearing up to celebrate a key festival in their calendar, which is designed to do exactly that, to rest and be thankful. It’s time for Thanksgiving. It’s not part of the UK story, but, I do love the principle and idea of taking some time to be thankful. So, how can we all take heed of the advice from the Scottish countryside, and from the American celebrations in our every day life, especially when life is running away with us? We can rest, look back, remember, and be thankful.
Here’s a few ideas to set you up for a season of gratitude.
🦃 Look back and see how far you’ve come
Honestly, it is such an important thing to do – take stock of where you are, how far you have come, and just what you have accomplished. We spend so much time thinking about what we still have to do, that we often forget to stop and appreciate what we have done. So, stop right now. Make a list of the things you’ve turned your hand to, the things you’ve accomplished, the progress you have made, the relationships you’ve developed. You’ll surprise yourself I promise.
🦃 Reflect on some wonderful memories
I love coming across an old photo, especially one of when my boys were younger (this is mainly because my memory is terrible and without photo evidence I have no idea of what has previously taken place). But – it is good for the soul to go down memory lane, to talk about loved ones that are no longer with us, places we’ve been, people we’ve shaped, experiences we have had. When we take time to remember these moments it lifts our spirits, gives us gratitude-fuel and reminds us of the bright spots that our life has experienced. Take a moment today to linger on a memory and allow yourself a touch of thankful nostalgia.
🦃 Remind yourself of what you’re here to do – and be grateful for the assignment In the day-to-day mundaneness of stuff to do and people to please, we can easily forget what we are here for. What’s your personal purpose and life mission? Maybe you don’t yet know for sure. But looking back over the moments of brilliance and highlights of our story definitely give clues towards discovering this. Stop and write down 5 to 10 things that you are particularly proud of being involved with. Don’t use other people’s measures of success – only your own. It could be your children, a project, a work team, an award, who knows. Look for the key themes and links between these moments to help you spot your personal purpose (if discovering your personal purpose is something you’d like to know more about – then do have a look
🦃 Let go and be grateful for the here and now
Sometimes we are held back from our bright future because we are still living within a season we should have left behind. There may be deeply painful events from your life that continue to shape you in the present, and perhaps not yet in the most positive of ways. There have been some pretty pivotal and challenging moments in my own life that I have needed help with processing, I am not ashamed to say that with the support of some insightful therapy I have made peace with some hurts and disappointments and can now see how they have shaped me and developed me rather than crushed me. There is no point pretending it didn’t happen, or wishing you lived someone else’s story. One of the most important things I have done in recent years is make my peace with the story that is mine. I can’t live anyone else’s life; I can’t erase the moments that I wish weren’t there. It is all part of my life and my story and wishing I had a different one (or some different chapters) is futile and holds me back from my future. Being truly thankful for the life I am in, warts and all, baggage and backstory, is key to being all I can be in the life I have ahead of me.
Take ten minutes to rest and be thankful. Give yourself a moment to reflect (use your camera roll if it helps!) and use the good feelings to generate some momentum in today – goodness knows we need the help right now! Perhaps take this concept and share it with your family, and your colleagues. Ask them some of the above question prompts and see what thankfulness is produced.
P.S. I have some really exciting news for you next week… you can take a sneak peak here.