Expressing Thanks!

April 27, 2009

   Filling Your Gratitude  Basket

Curt Canada MSW

 

I know that we are all inundated with news events that have placed so much stress on us! Our questionable economy, foreclosures, health scare regarding the swine flu, and continued job loss has us overwhelmed.

Today’s article hopefully will bring some light, energy, and personal strength during seemingly tough times!

 

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

 

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

 

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

 

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

 

There are many things to be grateful for: Spring Tiger Lilies, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, family , tomatoes, afternoon thunderstorm, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies, new fresh spring grass! What’s on your list?

 

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude

 

  Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.

 

  Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.

 

  Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.

 

  Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.

 

  When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.

 

  Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

 

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work . Thank you so much for visiting me and reading my blog!

 

Curt Canada MSW provides coaching and consulting at Finding Your Zenith

 in Washington, D.C.    www.findingyourzenith.com

 

 

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications

Neighbors or Hoods…?

March 13, 2009

I am a little taken a back by the seemingly lack of concern for the persons who live around us especially the hi .. how are you folks… You read about it in the newspaper or hear about them across the media outlets when something bizarre goes on practically right in your backyard. Take for a moment to think about all the different things that are going on. Then again, don’t think about it ! But who am I to separate the word neighborhood, where people talk with each other, where there’s a lending hand, where  environmental decline and neglect are noticed,  and where you can still borrow a cup of sugar. Addresses seemingly depict where one retreats to at the end of the day. The internet has become the new neighborhood. Don’t think for a moment that I am bashing technology.  Just think of all the different social groups and interested communities I can reach just by sharing what’s in my head. I never thought of it that way,  but so we are the ones who have created this division in the first place where we now question ourselves about the lack of  human contact  and conversation. Let’s go for a walk around the block . Notice the new structures, that new bigger that life house on the corner, and the not so fortunate family on the next block.  What about that  new school where learning is at the top of the list. No one told them about the trash that’s thrown on the ground  around the building. Maybe they are waiting on “Earth Day”.  Perhaps it would be absurd to question the responsible school administrators, teachers, and children who have no real stake in a neighborhood in which they do not even reside? I had better leave this issue for another day! Now, come to think of it I simply don’t care for either the word neighbor or hood.  I do relish the word neighborhood with its global defintion of ” universal and a collective human purpose “. Lewis Mumford,” sounds British,  states that neighbourhood  suggests “where human beings congregate in permanent dwellings.”  I found this definition on wikipedia and it sort of answers my question about how this powerful  positive word became so broken apart. I hear from real neighbors how things have changed.  It  looks as though this weekend’s weather will be more spring-like. Could this be the beginning of a neighborhood newsletter?  Neighborhood– a place where residents share their skills, knowledge, support, and kindness! Where do you live?

Curt Canada is a Personal Growth Coach and Consultant at Finding Your Zenith in Washington D.C.

I  thought this would get someones attention. Nevertheless , it is in the form of the “Stimulus ” package. If you’re thinking about getting any of it you had better get on the ball and contact that huge network of folks all the way from local government to the White House! It’s a Great Day in America.  This is sort of a “Christmas in February ” so to speak!  Here’s my personal wish list…

monies for re-enty related programs for the soldiers and their families

reduction of crime in our neighborhoods

homeless in homes

jobs for the unemployed

a real housing solution that will benefit the consumer and those affected by the banking debacle

HIV-AIDS community research and education programs in Washington DC and treatment centers

 americans  getting involved in personal exercise programs

lowering of prices on can goods below a $1 per can

lowering of prices on pomegrante juice

funding for life coaching clinics and research

removal of security guards from schools and a return to learning

more dog parks for the lucky’ and briggs’ of the world

and

American support for a President (Obama) whose objective is to bring about community, growth ,and peace for all!

money is falling from the american sky….. where will it land?

What does your wish list look like?

Thank you very much!

Curt Canada has a Master Degree from both The American University and The University of Iowa in Teacher Education and Social Work. He provides Personal Growth Coaching at Finding your Zenith in Washington DC.