by Leslie Sann
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings
~ William Arthur Ward
If you are feeling low down and stressed out why not Lift Up with one of the most powerful tools of transformation we have?
Gratitude is a powerful tool. Use it to lift you into a higher, more creative, resilient state, while challenging yourself to see the blessings in the here and now.
Regardless of whether you get to travel for your holiday turkey or stay home and feast in a more intimate way, focusing on the good will foster a sense of peace and joy waiting to be discovered.
There is a way to say thank you that goes beyond the words, ‘thank you.’ Gratitude is a way to celebrate how the actions of another have enriched your life.
Let me demonstrate. There is a big difference in hearing,
“Thanks, you are terrific.” and, “I am inspired by how clear and calm you were when things were chaotic around here yesterday. You showed me what is possible. Thanks. Your calm energy makes a big difference around here.”
The second statement lets me know what about me the person finds terrific and how my terrific-ness matters to them. I like that. Notice how this sentence clearly and specifically expresses how I made a positive difference. Making a positive difference is a basic human need. It is nurturing to hear what kind of difference we make in the lives of others.
How to Express Gratitude:
Focus on what specific action occurred that added value to your life for which you feel grateful.
Example: Your husband picked you up at the airport after a long overseas flight. I ask you how do you feel as you recall this action, or as you felt at the time? You tell me you felt relieved, happy, and cared for.
Therefore your gratitude might sound like: “Thank you for picking me up at the airport. I feel happy, loved, and cared for. You have made my world easier and more relaxed today.”
If I was choosing to be grateful to myself, I would use the same tools. For example, I could say to myself, “Wow, I love you Leslie.”
That would feel really good as I like it when I share my loving with myself. And I could give to myself even more deeply by saying, “I really appreciate you for staying true to your exercise commitment. I feel strong and vital. Moving that piece of furniture was really easy. I love you Leslie. Thank you.”
I encourage you to play with this. Challenge yourself to be clear and specific when you share your gratitude with others. Notice if it makes a difference to you, and to the other person. I have found taking the time to be clear in this way deepens my experience of gratitude. (I’d love to know if this shift makes a positive difference for you.)
With time on our hands due to the slow down, perhaps taking pen to paper and writing out your thanks might be a lovely way to spend part of your holiday.
Examples of Gratitude:
Thank you for your expertise in handling the technical aspects of last week’s Zoom meeting. I’m grateful because it is overwhelming for me to run the meeting while managing the behind- the-scenes activities. I couldn’t have done my job as well if you hadn’t said, “yes.”
Thank you for your ideas during the meeting. I appreciate your contribution to the team.
I’m touched that you offered to make dinner because I’m tired and can use some rest. Thank you so much for your help.
1. Recall an action by someone about which you feel grateful.
2. Write down your feelings in this moment (not how you felt back then).
3. Identify the needs of yours that were met by the action.
4. Put words on your grateful heart … let the one who made a contribution to your life know they made a positive difference.
We can change our world by expression our gratitude into it.
*Thank you to the late Marshall Rosenberg, creator of Non-Violent Communication.
Blessings and Joy,