This is my 21st week in a row of writing this newsletter, and your supportive response has changed my life. Thanks.
You are a very large group of thousands of people. I am honored and humbled by the size of the auditorium I get to write to each week. Wow, Thanks. You are also a constructively-focused group of people who are consistently opening my messages of hope and change. Because of your response to these writings, I cannot let a week go by without writing to you. Thanks.
This consistent action on my commitment to you has evolved my ability to trust and act on other commitments in my life as well. I've lost a good amount of weight, and aside from many late Tuesday nights spent writing (heh), I've managed to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night! Thanks.
This week, in my wonderful adopting country, there is a national celebration called Thanksgiving. Being Canadian born and raised, I like saying, "Happy American Thanksgiving!" But seriously, thanks America. You are a wonderful generous caring thoughtful artful home for me and my family.
This week is a good time to sit in some quiet and consider what we have to be thankful for. After considering it, bask in it. It's such a wonderful process to take stock in our blessings. If it's hard to think of many, think a bit longer...and a lot deeper. Be creative, and force your mind to think of how bad other peoples' lives are right now. Now consider how many amazing, truly amazing things you have. Yes, start with having eye-sight. Hearing. Two working legs. A tasty turkey leg in your near future? ...or tofu burger?
Bask in it. We have so much to appreciate! So much of the news this week illustrates the pain in the world. If considered well, seeing this can lighten the emotional load we think we're carrying. We all have some heavy realities in our past and/or in our imagined futures. When I get truly present, and remember how bad it is for others right now, I can always find something to appreciate and I end up letting go of some of my worries.
"Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional."
We are surrounded by blessings, but we only see them if we look for them.
Tickling works well too.
Such a joyful picture taken tonight of
my mentor and friend Dale Clevenger and my son Rhys.
I had to share. I think they are the same age in this picture.
Two Choices of Approach
I believe there are two ways to go through life. Sometimes people approach and assess things in a state of being appreciative and other times people are entitled.
The entitled approach has people thinking they deserve things. They often expect things, and are equally often disappointed and upset when they see how they're not getting what they want...not getting what they deserve. This entitled approach is a choice. I often wonder how many fantastic things are happening in the entitled person's life while they miss noticing them because they are too stuck on looking for what they expect to see.
The appreciative approach has people thinking everything is a bonus. I was given a real gift one day in 1995 when I was mugged and had a knife held to my throat and was told, "Get ready to die." The man took my money and ran away, leaving me there crying, with the knowledge that any thought could be my last. That fateful day gave me deep clarity that every day spent alive is to be appreciated. Every meal. Every exchange with a friend, and each potential exchange with a stranger too.
My dad was great at giving enjoyable exchanges to strangers. No quiet moment in an elevator could go by without him making everyone smile. We'd be in an elevator on the basement floor of a building and others would walk into the elevator. Breaking the silence, dad would look at them with a dead-pan face and sincerely ask them, "Going down?" He'd let them give him a double take, but stay serious just long enough for them to start to give the, "ummm...we're ummm...?" before breaking into a smile that assured them he was just kidding.
We lost my dad to Alzheimer's way too early, just a few years ago. He taught us a lot about appreciation. He remained an appreciative man to the end, and I believe it was because he chose to see what he had, rather than what he didn't have. He would say with a smile, "I'm not too concerned with what I'm losing. I always have 100% of what's left of my mind."
I believe he chose to live that way...in both every good and every scary moment.
Tasks for this week - Give Thanks.
Let's spin today and this week in a contributing way. No matter how many issues your family has! Sorry but everyone's family has issues! No big deal. All we can try to work with is the issues we have with our family.
Learn about this, Let Go of it, and Love them and yourself Well anyway!
Here are two ideas to get you started:
1. When someone gives you critique in any way, just say, "Thank you." Skip over telling them why you did what you did, or that you knew what they just told you. While driving, when someone tells you to turn here, and you were just about to turn there, just smile, and say thanks...give thanks.
...and then watch the moment maybe go somewhere it wouldn't have. Look for how your sincerely given thanks helped the vibe of the moment.
2. Here is a simple act that can vanish some crazy complicated baggage from your past. When someone compliments you this week, bite the crap out of your tongue for as long as it takes so that your first and only words are a sincere "Thank you." :)
This can be trickier than you'd think. Dooooooo iiiiiiiiiiit anyway! It's so worth it. I promise.
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