A Day for Thanksgiving & Gratitude (November 2020)
Hard to believe that after a seemingly endless year, we are staring Thanksgiving in the face, with the holidays right behind. And dare I say, the timing is perfect. We as human beings are equipped to face enormous challenges and have the ability to come through them despite the odds and circumstances. I wanted to share with you some inspiring words and messages I heard at our first virtual National Conference for Commonwealth a few weeks ago.
Liz Murray, a child of drug-addicted parents, who was homeless at age 15, spoke to us about resilience. She said it’s about the little victories, not the big rah rah after one gigantic victory, like in the movies or commercials. It’s about doing the next right thing, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential it may be. She said the best definition of gratitude she’s ever heard was spoken by a close friend: “Gratitude is nothing more than realizing that everything you have you could just as easily not have”. You can see her interview ‘From Homeless to Harvard’ on You Tube. Yes, she really did do that.
Robin Roberts, whom you may know from her days on ESPN or now on Good Morning America, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. Then in 2012, she was diagnosed with MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome), a form of blood marrow cancer. She was so positive, gracious, and real in her session. She shared with us how she was able to persevere even on her darkest days. Her three D’s are: Determination, Discipline, Da Lord. And her three F’s are: Faith, Family, Friends. She said when fear knocks, let faith open the door. Then hold it open for someone else. Exercise your optimism, it gets stronger with use. And even when you don’t feel like it: relax, breathe, and smile. This lightens your mood no matter what’s in your thoughts.
Jen Groover, who overcame a troubled childhood with an abusive, alcoholic father, went on to become a successful entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker. She spoke to us about the power of our thoughts. She said we have power over one thing in this world: our perspective. Choose a positive one. What you focus on expands. Focus on what’s right more than what’s wrong. Write down 3 positive thoughts you want to be thinking about all the time. Thoughts and words go hand in hand. Words project our thoughts.
And while he did not attend our virtual conference, I did want to share a quote from Eckhart Tolle that I will be incorporating into my Thanksgiving toast tomorrow: “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance”.
This is a crazy time and we can’t celebrate the way that we would hope to, but it’s still about family & friends. They are all in our hearts and thoughts, even if they can’t be at our tables. Wishing you a Happy & Safe Thanksgiving.