Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Luck o' the Irish!

I am a big fan of gratitude. At Thanksgiving dinner each year, my family dreads the moment when I go around the table and make everyone name something they are thankful for before I will let them eat. They start thinking about it days in advance, and everyone wants to be first so they can express an "easy" gratitude, like family or the meal we are about to eat.

But I think that it is important to find gratitude every day. I think it is healthy to think about the things that we have that others may not, or the things that make us happy, healthy and safe. If you're a fan of the Law of Attraction, then clearly taking a moment to be thankful for the good things in our lives will pay huge dividends. I try to think of at least three things that I am thankful for each night before I go to bed, and I find it very therapeutic to take a Grateful Moment whenever I find myself getting upset and stressed about something. I also think that it is important to find something to be grateful for in the difficult and painful experiences as well as the fun and joyful times, because there is a lesson or a gift in them all. The most painful experiences I've had in my life have also been the best teachers, and have made me who I am today.

Anyway, I strive to impart this to my children, so we often talk about what we are thankful for. For St. Patrick's Day, we decorated the windows with paper shamrocks, and I wrote on the top of each one, "I am lucky...." Each of us, as well as friends and family, had our own shamrock where we could complete the sentence.

Some of our shamrocks are silly - for example, our dog Chryssi is lucky to have so many tennis balls, and Sarah is lucky that we leave food out for her to steal on occasion. But some were serious - I am thankful that I have plenty of food to eat and a beautiful home. Bess is thankful she has good friends to play with.

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