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Happy Thanksgiving Open Blog

Wishing all of you a Happy Canadian Thanksgiving – Monday, October 8th.

I’m calling this an Open Blog because I will be adding my List Of What To Give Thanks For over the course of today and the Thanksgiving Weekend.

I’m Thankful For;

• Family – I’ll call my mother Irene over the course of the weekend and talk with her on the phone and I give thanks that she in good health and well taken care off. Laura’s mom Helen will be coming to stay with us for the weekend to celebrate Thanks Giving and I am so looking forward to family time as we have many blessings to give thanks for.

6:30am, Monday, October 8, 2007


Family & Friends – Laura’s beautiful table setting just before Helen, Laura and I sat down for Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday, October 7th with our friends Charline and Allan.

Health – May we always be Happy and Healthy.

Thanksgiving Long Weekend – I’m thankful that I have taken the Saturday & Sunday and I’m on my way to making Monday three days in a row of non-business activity;

1. getting lots of extra sleep
2. puttering around the house getting it winter ready – storm doors and weather-stripping
3. meditation
4. journaling
5. reading
6. who knows, we may even go to a movie

Here is a link to The Inner Workings Of Giving Thanks which was published in the Saturday, October 6th edition of The Vancouver Sun. I have also in included Gratitude: 10 Tip as the bottom of this quote from; The Inner Workings Of Giving Thanks.

Henri Nouwen, the late Catholic psychologist and spiritual guide, began to deal with this challenging issue when he wrote: “To be grateful for the good things that happen in our life is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives – the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections – that requires spiritual hard work.”

Gratitude: 10 tips

Vancouver Sun

Published: Friday, October 05, 2007

Sometimes gratitude comes easily. Often it’s surprisingly elusive and difficult. Here are 10 suggestions for cultivating a practice of gratitude:

1. Keep a daily gratitude journal
Writing down your thoughts and feelings deepens them. Studies show people who keep gratitude journals tend to be happier, healthier and more successful at achieving goals. It is affirming to see much of your life as a gift. In your daily journal, try to not to be repetitive about those qualities or people for which you feel blessed. Recall them with vividness. Don’t let the list grow stale.

2. Remember the bad
This may seem counter-intuitive. When you remember the worst things that happened to you, you remind yourself that you survived, made your way out of the dark and are now in a more pleasant place. Remembering what went wrong is an example of “counter-factual” thinking, a reminder of how things are now compared to how they could have been. As the saying goes: “It could have been worse.”

3. Ask Yourself Three Questions
This Buddhist technique involves answering three questions:
1. What have I received from ————?
2. What have I given to ————-?
3. What troubles and difficulties have I caused?
The first question helps us avoid dwelling on our problems, the second helps sidestep a feeling of entitlement and the third asks us to reflect on our hurtful actions, which helps us realize we live by grace and good fortune.

4. Learn Prayers of Gratitude
Prayers of thanksgiving are among the most common types of prayer. Even if you are a secularist or a Buddhist who doesn’t believe in a supreme being, you could follow the lead of Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh who each day offers a meditation of thanksgiving for “the wonders of life.” If you find yourself having trouble offering thanks, try hoping “for the ability to be grateful.”

5. Get in Touch with your Senses
The most cited trigger of happiness by people who keep gratitude journals is good health. Eighty per cent of journal writers in one study of gratitude cited feeling thanks for everything from not being fat to having eyes that can see and nostrils that can smell. When in doubt, bring attention to your breath, which is freely available to all, to reflect on being alive.

6. Use Visual Reminders
It may sounds corny and even mawkish, but wall plaques, fridge magnets or sticky saying “Give Thanks” or “Today is a Gift” can be effective reminders for overcoming two of the biggest barriers to the reality our lives are made easier by others: Forgetfulness and lack of mindful awareness.

7. Make a vow to practise gratitude
Swearing an oath can be a powerful motivator. When we break it, we feel moral failure. So when we vow not to take so many things for granted or count our blessings, we are greatly increasing the likelihood we’ll change our habits.

8. Watch what you say
The words we use influence how we feel and act. They create reality. Cognitive therapists observe that depressed people constantly use negative self-talk, such as “Nobody likes me” or “I’m such a loser.” Instead of focusing on regret and lack, grateful people tend to use words such as “blessed,” “fortunate” and “gift.”

9. Go through the motions
Sometimes pretending to be happy or loving can make us so. Same with gratitude. Going through the motions of saying “thank you” or writing letters of gratitude can make us more appreciative. If we stand around waiting for a feeling to move us, we might never get going.

10. Think outside the box
Gratitude can be practised in odd ways. For instance, the Dalai Lama talks about being grateful for his enemies, including the Chinese government that has oppressed his Tibetan people. Chinese authorities, he says, taught him patience. Sometimes we can also feel gratitude for those we help – since thankfulness is not really complete until it’s expressed in outward action.

(Adapted from the work of psychologist Robert A. Emmons, of The University of California, Davis)