Category Archives: Gratefulness

Thanksgiving: Stop Comparing Yourself!

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When we find ourselves thinking that we’ve nothing to be thankful for–or very little to be thankful for–it’s probably because we’re comparing ourselves either to others or to some standard of perfection we’ve concocted that, in reality, is unattainable.

I came across this poem that I think sums it up nicely:

 

Hard Luck

 

         Ain’t no use as I can see

         In sittin’ underneath a tree

         An’ growlin’ that your luck is bad,

         An’ that your life is extry sad;

         Your life ain’t sadder than your neighbor’s

         Nor any harder are your labors;

         It rains on him the same as you,

         An’ he has work he hates to do;

         An’ he gits tired an’ he gits cross,

         An’ he has trouble with the boss;

         You take his whole life, through an’ through,

         Why, he’s no better off than you.

 

 

         If whinin’ brushed the clouds away

         I wouldn’t have a word to say;

         If it made good friends out o’ foes

         I’d whine a bit, too, I suppose;

         But when I look around an’ see

         A lot o’ men resemblin’ me,

         An’ see ’em sad, an’ see ’em gay

         With work t’ do most every day,

         Some full o’ fun, some bent with care,

         Some havin’ troubles hard to bear,

         I reckon, as I count my woes,

           They’re ’bout what everybody knows.

 

 

         The day I find a man who’ll say

         He’s never known a rainy day,

           Who’ll raise his right hand up an’ swear

         In forty years he’s had no care,

         Has never had a single blow,

         An’ never known one touch o’ woe,

         Has never seen a loved one die,

         Has never wept or heaved a sigh,

         Has never had a plan go wrong,

         But allus laughed his way along;

         Then I’ll sit down an’ start to whine

         That all the hard luck here is mine.

 

 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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Thanksgiving: The Flow of Thanks and Giving

 

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To me, this poem encapsulates Thanksgiving and how to bring this special time into every day of our lives:

What we wish for ourselves, we wish for others; what we do for ourselves, we do for others.

Such a wonderful way of keeping the flow of thanks and giving going!

SELFISH

  I am selfish in my wishin’ every sort o’ joy for
you;
I am selfish when I tell you that I’m wishin’
skies o’ blue
Bending o’er you every minute, and a pocketful
of gold,
An’ as much of love an’ gladness as a human
heart can hold.
Coz I know beyond all question that if such a
thing could be
As you cornerin’ life’s riches you would share
’em all with me.

  I am selfish in my wishin’ every sorrow from
your way,
With no trouble thoughts to fret you at the
closin’ o’ the day;
An’ it’s selfishness that bids me wish you
comforts by the score,
An’ all the joys you long for, an’ on top o’
them, some more;
Coz I know, old tried an’ faithful, that if such
a thing could be
As you cornerin’ life’s riches you would share
’em all with me.

~Edgar A Guest A Heap ‘O Living’

 

Keep Thanksgiving alive!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Thanksgiving: A Happy Thanksgiving Wish

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Thank you, dear Friends and Pep Pals, for subscribing to my blog. I appreciate it very much.

I wish you a lovely day that infuses your spirit with the awe and gratitude for all the gifts, beauty, and goodness that is woven into your life every day. And my wish is that this reverence for all you DO have stays with you throughout your days.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Thanksgiving: What Really Matters

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I’m reading the book The Blue Zones of Happiness by Dan Buettner. He is the researcher credited with coining the term Blue Zones to denote towns, villages, cities, and countries where the people enjoy high levels of happiness and contentment. In the book I am reading, Buettner gives tips and techniques from the world’s happiest people.

As you’d imagine, people in the “happiness zones” had commonalities. They were active, not only physically active but also active within their family, social circle, and community; they ate moderately with fresh fruits and vegetables making up the bulk of their diet; they were devoted to work that was meaningful–whether or not the work was paid–and they took time for rest and recreation. In short, these people were thriving in their lives, not just surviving like a large percentage of people do.

But happiness and thriving means many different things to people. Buettner summed these up into three categories: pleasure, purpose, pride. He found that if you have high levels of pleasure, not hedonistic pleasure but rather that derived from enjoyed activities and warm and welcoming people; if you have work–whether or not it’s paid–that is meaningful to you and brings you pride that comes from giving it all you’ve got and doing your very best, and if you have many opportunities to socialize with people who like you and encourage you, then you, too, can craft a life where you thrive.

A life of thriving is the same as a soul-prospering life!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Thanksgiving: The Lessons that I’m Learning

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I’m reading the book The Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau. I came across this book when we were talking a few weeks ago about making pilgrimages.

It contains a paraphrase of advice that was given to people in medieval times who were embarking on pilgrimages: Stranger, pass by that which you do not love.

I didn’t quite understand quote and didn’t know what to make of it. If you’re on a pilgrimage or if you’re visiting new place, it’s most helpful if you stay mindful and open to everything. You want to see the gifts that every moment has to give you as well as learn the lessons that some moments contain–in fact, often times the lesson is the gift.

When I read Stranger, pass by that which you do not love, it sounded counterintuitive. The quote sounded like it was advising us not to pay attention, that we should ignore something that has the potential to teach us a very profound lesson. And the quote seemed to say that we should overlook the little bits of beauty sprinkled throughout the day that give us the opportunity for wonder and awe at the magnificence of creation.

That advice didn’t seem right so I kept pondering that quote to see what else I could glean from it.

Soon it occurred to me that the quote isn’t saying that we shouldn’t learn a lesson that we shouldn’t be mindful. It isn’t saying that we should be shallow and stick with only the things we like or are comfortable with.

What the quote is telling us is exactly what it’s saying: stranger, pass by that which you do not love. The quote tell us to pass by: don’t stay with what we don’t love; don’t cling to what we don’t love; don’t wallow in what we don’t love.

PASS BY!

I found this to be a very profound reminder that we will go through difficulties, because it’s guaranteed that we’re going to hit rough patches no matter how smart, how beautiful, how young, how old, how talented, how slim, how rich, we are going to hit difficulties. Some are going to be much more trying and more heartbreaking than others. And we aren’t going to love it at all–who would?! The point is to pass by, to go through it as best we can. Go through it–don’t stop, don’t wallow, don’t stagnate, don’t cling.

Pass by!

I wanted to share this revelation with you.   I hope you find inspiration and encouragement in these ideas.

Thanks!

Your friend and Pep pal

Lauren

Thanksgiving: Sometimes it’s Hard to Say Thank You

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Perhaps this year—or maybe the past several years—have been very difficult.  Maybe you feel you’re taking steps backward, even though you’re doing everything you can to push forward.  You might even look ahead at your life and it doesn’t look too good—not too promising or hopeful.

At these times, It’s really tough to be thankful and grateful because what have you got to be thankful for?  It seems that so much has been taken away from you.  You’ve heard the saying that there’s always something to be grateful for but that sounds like so much baloney right now.

But it’s precisely the act of thankful for what you DO have that will change the tide in your life.

When Dr. Joe Vitale tells his story of overcoming homelessness and poverty, he tells of a moment of intense clarity that he had.  He was sitting in the public library studying, trying to improve himself and get out of his current circumstances.  He was using a pencil and paper to take notes and suddenly he noticed the pencil—how wonderful and powerful this simple instrument was.

He thought about the people throughout the ages whose best thinking and efforts went into creating the pencil.  With the pencil, people have been able to converse with others through letters; scientists and others have been able to invent machines and products and services that have helped humankind; people’s creativity has been unleashed through the humble pencil.  Suddenly he was overwhelmed with intense gratitude for the humble pencil.

He credits this moment of profound clarity and his deep gratitude as being a turning point in his life.  He acknowledges that gratitude and thanksgiving are the foundation of his success and achievement.

 

Some of my “humble pencils” are:

Regardless of the challenges, difficulties, and heartbreaks I’ve experienced, I’m still here;

I can press the reset button by spending a little time with Mother Nature, whether it’s being outside or gazing out my window;

I’m good at helping people who are discouraged, lost, unsure, etc..

 

What “humble pencil” do you have in your life for which you can feel gratitude and thanksgiving?

THANKS!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Thanksgiving: 12 Quotes to Think About

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In a few days we in the US will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Here are a few quotes for us to ponder; quotes that, I hope, will help us make thanksgiving and gratitude a part of every day of the year, not just one day.

 

If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share. ~W. Clement Stone

 

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. ~Oprah Winfrey

 

We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction. Harry Ironside

 

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good think that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because ALL things have contributed to your advancement, you should include ALL things in your gratitude. ~Ralph Waldo Everson

 

Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is. ~Ernest Hemingway

 

If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get. ~Frank A. Clark

 

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. ~Theodore Roosevelt

 

We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.   ~Neal A. Maxwell

 

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.   ~Frederick Keonig

 

Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow.   A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves. ~Henry Ward Beacher

 

For flowers that bloom about our feet;

For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;

For song of bird, and hum of bee;

For all things fair we hear or see.

Farther in heaven, we thank Thee!

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large about of Gratitude. ~A.A. Milne

 

Which quote(s) did you like the best? My favorite is the last one, Piglet’s.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren