When have you tried something out of your comfort zone, or on your bucket list or an activity you’d never consider if someone hadn’t invited you…
What have you done in the last year that was new to you?
A few days ago we tried a new dining experience – cooking our meat on a 700+ degree rock! We had fun trying out something new!
See, being thankful for new experiences doesn’t need to be about the huge events. It could be just a simple food item that’s new to you or movement style like dancing or tai chi. Maybe it’s as simple as driving down a new street, rather than using the regular path to a regular spot.
Thankful for new experiences.
What would you list? Maybe you have more than one item to put in your thankful journal?
30 days of thankfulness
We’re working on documenting many ways in which we feel grateful. There will be 30 days worth but it’s perfectly fine if you have way many more than 30 items!
Want to play? – Maybe this is your new experience?
The power comes in seeing these items add up, and reading the long list at the end… Want to play?
What do you want to do in the future? I have a list… one item on my list is to see the aurora borealis (northern lights). I’m looking at journals to buy – or I might make my own – to keep a record of all the things I want to experience in the future…
Thankful for your favorite… Favorite what? Think about what you wear.
Do you have a favorite set of pajamas? What about a sweater or hoodie that wraps you up in love? Perhaps there’s a swim-suit that fits just right or a huge, fuzzy, flannel shirt that feels so cozy?
Maybe it’s a dress that fits the glamorous side of your personality. Or a set of lingerie which no-one might see, yet makes you feel so feminine. Your favorite might be a robe that, when you wear it, means it’s going to be a relaxing day – all day…
You might be thankful for a favorite pair of shoes that make you feel like you could run all day or a set of sunglasses you can hide behind. It could be a scarf that’s just the right amount of warmth, or…
Thankful for your favorite wearable!
Use today, in your 30 days of thankfulness journal, to note that piece of clothing you wear which brings a smile to your heart!
We’re continuing in our 30 days of thankfulness – here are some of the posts so far…
Thankful for Prayer – both the ability to pray and thankful for those who pray for you.
Who prays for you?
Do you know?
Perhaps some people are aware of those who pray for them. But there may be times when there’s little indication…
grandparents who complain that they don’t see you often enough… continue to intercede in prayer for you…
your ministers pray for you – even though they don’t know anything about your life. They trust God knows the whole story and reach out on your behalf…
co-workers who are quiet about their faith and you might not even know that they sit quietly in the church each week, praying for you. (I’ve heard when co-workers were prayed for.)
that person strolling past your house who is just walking… might be praying for those who live in their neighborhood… my parents-in-law had a tradition of doing that when they went for their evening walk.
when you’re facing procedures or issues, and you’ve shared with someone, they may just go home and remember you. A stranger could be praying for you. (Rob and I have done that.)
I know people who, when they hear a siren, automatically pray for those involved.
when you vent on social media, and though you don’t get a “like” or comment, there will be those who are praying for you and your pain.
Now you. Thankful for prayer…
Who do you pray for? And when?
Prayer is a power action. It’s a gift. It engages the One who created everything.
Prayer can be done silently, and constantly.
It’s a way to express joy and sorrow and fears and overwhelm. It’s a way to help, even when you’re far away, or there doesn’t seem like there’s any solution. Prayer makes a difference.
(And if you have time to scroll on social media, you have time to pray – just sayin’… )
Be thankful for the opportunity to pray.
And be thankful for those who pray for you.
Thankful for prayer is the 8th in 30 days of thankfulness – here are the ones which went before…
Think of your skills – share those with a loved one.
Who would you share a tradition with? Even if your family is far away you can still create traditions with friends. The people may change but as long as you do the tradition each year, it’s a tradition!
Does someone else do an activity that you admire?
Start a conversation with your spouse or children about traditions – get their input!
Leave a comment – what traditions would you begin if you could?
I’d love to hear about your traditions and do an article about them all!
Thankful for traditions…
Maybe this could be the start of a tradition – doing a month of giving thanks for all the good in your life!
Thankful for your spot. Your spot… you know… it’s that spot where you relax.
You’re probably in your most comfortable clothes, maybe even in your pajamas, when you’re in your spot. It’s the spot where you just take a deep breath and decompress. Maybe you even have a table beside your spot where you can put down a cup of tea, or coffee or a wine glass.
Is there a book waiting for you in your spot? Or are you facing the television?
Thankful for your Spot to Relax
Life can be busy, so having a spot to relax in – whether it’s an end of a sofa, a plush chair or even on your side of the bed – that’s a spot to be thankful for.
We’re working on collecting many types of ways we’re thankful. There will be 30 prompts (one a day… hopefully… <wink>) and if you want to play the game with me, then find a place to record your answers.
You could record your answers with a simple piece of paper, or a pretty notebook, or even download and print this free PDF. I’ve been exploring a few free apps on my iPhone for the purpose of recording gratitude – here’s one that is interesting: 5 Minutes of Gratitude.
To help you catch up, here are links to the other days (so far):
Well, just think about it a bit. How is your life easier than your grandparents’ life when they were your age?
We live in a time of gadgets and do-dads.
Vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, refrigerators, Swiffer mops, washers and dryers, electric tea-kettles, bread-makers, Kuerigs, hair-dryers, microwaves, electric/gas-powered lawn-mowers, garage-door openers, programmable thermostats, even the convenience of an “Alexa turn on the lights!” gadget.
So, which item in your list of conveniences are you most thankful for? Has this changed over the years?
What have you added to your list of conveniences?
I’m thankful for convenience in the morning with my little egg-cooker! It’s just a tiny helper in the larger scheme of life, but it’s made my mornings much more efficient. Plus, I never have to worry about the eggs boiling dry! (It’s “Lori-proof”. LOL)
Another convenience I value is my own washer and dryer. While we were living in our 5th wheel, I needed to use a laundromat, or visit our adult children. It’s a privilege to just drop in a load of laundry whenever I feel like it!
What about you? What convenience do you value?
Make a list of all the gadgets that add up to make your life easier! What’s at the top of that list? What would you miss most if it wasn’t available?
Thankful for books. Yes. Huge tomes and tiny treasures. Ancient words, new concepts. Happy or sad books, complicated or simple books – they’re all my favorite! And with the invention of the Kindle, I can take all my favorites everywhere I go!
One of my first memories is going to the library. We went once a week on Tuesdays, after my piano lessons. I remember when my mother finally let me stay in the kids’ area by myself, (it was on a different floor) and she went upstairs to the adult books. It was like I’d won the lottery – what JOY! I was so thankful for books.
What elation! Set free among all those stories and ideas!
And then there was that one summer. I determined I’d read every book in that children’s area. Starting at the “A’s” in fiction and in the 000 to 100’s in non-fiction, I think I only made it to the psychology section in non-fiction (just before the 200’s). And I can’t remember about fiction books. Those I read quickly, so who knows? Plus, we were only allowed 12 books per week! (Still feel indignant about that!) And to my defense, there were a LOT of books in my library. At least that’s what I remember…
Thankful for books.
Yes, I’ve developed a fairly healthy relationship with books… ? Maybe.
It’s still my go-to place when I need to escape. Long, long before people binge-watched shows, I binged on books. (Still do, if I’m being candid.)
I can’t fully express how I’m thankful for books…
What about you?
What kind of relationship do you have with books?
Is there at least one book for which you’re thankful?
Use today’s prompt to think of all your favorite books – those from childhood, and every age and stage forward.
Make a list!
Have you shared any of these books with those you love?
Your nose has a unique way to scent out thankfulness! Yes, your nose… knows how to be thankful! Just think of these scents:
Memories from a scent: your mother’s perfume, long after she is no longer with you… or, for me, it’s smelling the smoke from a cigar. It reminds me of my father who passed into eternity 34 years ago… What about a campfire? Or your favorite soap?
Imagine walking through the door at the end of a long day and inhaling the delicious aroma of roast beef or chili, or… (What’s your favorite food smell?) When family remarks on how the food smells, (in a positive way, of course), I will respond by saying that it’s a good way to start the meal! Their noses lead the way.
What about just before you take that first sip in the morning – oh, the smell of fresh-brewed coffee! Or bacon frying on a holiday morning…
And baby cuddles! Isn’t that the best smell when they’re fresh from the bath?
The fragrance of a flower… rose, lilac, lavender… Walking through a herb garden is a feast for your nose – have you ever smelled fresh dill, mint or basil?
Your nose knows how to be thankful!
What’s your favorite scent?
Now, there’s something to be thankful for!
Write it down.
Add it to your 30 days of being Thankful!
(This is Day 2. Use a piece of paper, a notebook, your phone or social media. Or download this PDF I created, and print it! The idea is to have a record of 30+ things you’re thankful for at the end of November!)
Join us on this journey of being thankful – If you haven’t already seen it, here’s the first prompt to start you off: Thankful for the View.
Leave a comment about what scent makes you feel thankful…
It’s a space (any space – you could even write on your bathroom mirror with these) to collect the results so you can see them all at the end of 30 days.
Your first prompt is: Thankful for the View —
Tomorrow and every day for 30 days I’ll send you a unique prompt.
Collect the results!
At the end of these 30 days, you’ll have an amazing record of all the things/people/places/events, etc. in your life for which you’re thankful… if you play the game!
Could you do this exercise as a family?
I’m going to include my husband in this game. It’ll be a connection point – especially as we won’t be physically together for many of the next 30 days!
Are you ready?
Look up – look around…
What things are you thankful for that you can see right now?
Write down as many as you like…
Here’s the prompt:
Thankful for the View
Leave a comment if you’re going to “play”! On Friday, November 8, 2019, I’ll choose one person who commented and send them a set of the markers I referenced!
Just so you’re aware – the link is to the markers on Amazon. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites with no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.
Learn how to be optimistic. Basically, you aren’t required to be born a positive person – optimism can be learned. Don’t give up just because you’re not good at it! Because there’s a way to…
Learn how to be optimistic.
But how, you ask?
If I’m being candid with you, (and my husband, Rob, can attest to this,) compared to some others, I am not naturally a positive person.
Did I really say that?
Yes, I did. I’m a learned optimist.
It’s a choice.
I believe anyone can learn how to be optimistic, and with deliberation, choose to act that way.
If so, then all of us can take action in a strategically positive way.
In all areas of our lives:
in how we think about ourselves,
as we talk to ourselves (our inner dialogue),
how we make choices in our life,
when we interact with people,
in our business world, church world, and family,
as we pursue our side-hustle, our hobbies,
and/or entrepreneurial life,
while setting and embracing our goals – large or small
and everything else life holds!
Here’s the path – with 4 aspects – on how to learn to be optimistic:
1 – Begin with love.
Start by feeling love for yourself. (Yes, it’s a journey.)
Firstly, I believe I was born on purpose and for a purpose. As were you! No person is an accident. Everyone has value.
For all those mothers who long to get pregnant, and parents who are trying and trying to conceive a child, this concept of a child being born on purpose is real. (As is the heart-wrench and ache when a child dies before you can hold her or him in your arms.)
Plus, as a Christian, I believe God loves me. He loves you. There’s a plan for us. As a great example of true, perfect love, Jesus, the Son of God, gave up His life in a horrible death for no reason other than He loved me. And you. And everyone. All people. Regardless. (If you’re looking for a romance story, the Bible is the ultimate one.)
Maybe your life thus far hasn’t shown you much love. If that’s the case, I just want to tell you:
It’s not the end of the story!
You can feel loved. There’s time.
Just as you have time to love others. It’s a journey.
Gratitude is so much more important than the world around you wants you to believe. Being thankful is a special sauce, a magic formula, the ultimate elixir on the way to being positive.
How do you track your thankfulness?
Being aware of what you’re thankful for is one thing. Because of this, it’s powerful when you see all the items concretely logged with writing or images.
Whether you use an app, a journal, a planner or a plain old notebook, keeping an ongoing list of all the items you’re thankful for on a daily basis is important!
Did you hear that?
I can’t think of another way to state it. Make it a habit at the beginning, middle or end of a day to list what you’re thankful for. Begin recording your thankfulness.
I challenge you to start with a list of 100 items. A while ago Rob and I did an exercise like this together and it was so much easier than it seems… From this, we realized that the greatest to the least little item provides many, many reasons each day to give thanks.
” Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
Therefore, you can learn how to be optimistic if you use gratitude as a tool!
So, being loved and being thankful. Right.
And after that – what’s next?
3 – Being encouraged and encouraging others helps you to learn how to optimistic.
Thirdly, what is encouragement?
“Encouragement: words or actions that give someone confidence or hope and words or actions that help something to happen.”
~ from MacMillan Dictionary
To learn how to be optimistic means you understand the importance of encouragement. Encouragement is an action. It’s having hope for the future. People who are positive-focused know how to help themselves and others make something happen – something good for the future.
Optimists are confident that if they keep trying and continue to persevere, regardless, there will be an improvement.
And once an optimist is feeling hopeful, then…
4 – Optimists take action.
Lastly, some of the skills on the path to learn how to be optimistic are the ability to make a plan, work the plan and take action on the goals that’ll get you to the finish line of the plan. Does this sound familiar?
What if things don’t work out? Failure is part of the plan – it’s gonna happen, and optimists who take action have contingencies at hand to fail forward.
So, if something doesn’t work out, the optimist finds another way.
Above all, it’s about taking action – not getting stuck in inertia or analysis paralysis. Equally, if a positive person does get stuck, they look for help from another encouraging person! Do you have someone like that in your life?
Are you someone who takes action? Is there a chance you’re also a learned optimist?
Being Positive on Purpose
All in all, life isn’t always what you expect. There are curveballs…
It’s important to realize there are days, weeks and even years where being optimistic is hard. At times it feels almost impossible. I get it. I really do – due to circumstances we all encounter, I’ve experienced it and it’s difficult to be optimistic when in crisis. (Especially if others around you expect optimism from you and you’re feeling like you’re running on empty.)
What can you do when it’s hard to be optimistic?
Actively seek support. To clarify, surround yourself with people, activities, and resources which will support you in practicing:
loving yourself and others,
being thankful – in all circumstances,
accepting encouragement and giving encouragement,
and taking action.
To be transparent – that’s why this site was born. I needed something to keep my focus on remaining and then growing in being positive. So, that’s what PostiveThanksLiving.com is for… it’s for me and you!
On the positive side, there’s no end in learning to be optimistic.
You just get better at it. Certainly, it takes ongoing practice, but the benefits of practicing optimism impact everyone around you for the better.
Indeed, it’s not going to hurt anyone if you learn how to be optimistic… in fact, it’ll help make the world around you a little better!
Lessons? What benefits come from being thankful? Being thankful in all circumstances (even in a pandemic) can teach you much more than you’d imagine. Sure, not everything feels good, but there’s always something you can find for which to give thanks.
Practice your Thanks-Living skills!
Here are five great lessons you can learn by being thankful:
1 – Thankfulness opens hearts.
Being thankful, regardless of the stage and state of your life, might not be easy, but it does impact those around you. During times when Rob and I have experienced less-than-optimum situations, expressing what we’re thankful for has created a connection.
Hardship can divide spouses, families, and friends, just because everyone is focused, in word and deed, on the struggle.
Expressing thankfulness draws hearts back together.
If you find yourself avoiding talking to those you love because of the issues you’re dealing with, then start with a sentence about what you’re feeling grateful for… talking about all the blessings in your life can engage everyone, and you might surprise each other at what you find yourself grateful for…
2 – Being thankful shapes the future.
Once you start discussing all the areas in which you’re thankful, you’ll begin to see where God has blessed your life in the past. And that leads to anticipating future opportunities. If your future is shaped in what you’re thankful for, it becomes easier to bounce back and get on track.
3 – Gratitude reduces want-itis. Lessons in less.
“Gimme-gimme” and “I want, I want, I want” have become an epidemic in our western society. Being thankful for what we have combats the materialism of our culture in a healthy way.
Once you notice all you actually possess and feel a sense of thankfulness, wanting extra stuff becomes less attractive. The lessons and benefits of this part of being thankful just keep on going…
4 – Thankfulness impacts our memories – lessons in remembering.
Memory is subjective. Two people can think back on the same experience and will have differing memories, according to their bent toward optimism or pessimism. Once an individual looks back in their history with the filter of gratitude, the memories can be wired toward optimism.
5 – Thankfulness balances a healthy sense of self – a curious circle of lessons.
Being thankful can increase an internal sense of self-esteem because it hones attention to where others are helping. By acknowledging you need help, which can be humbling, you also must shift to the belief that you’re a worthwhile person because someone went out of their way to help. It’s a curious cycle.
Yesterday I wrote about sticky positive thougthts and said I have Scripture verses posted to encourage my thinking. This is one that’s been very important to me:
… in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
This article about a sermon on the above Scripture is one of my recent favorites – it unpacks the idea that we don’t need to be grateful for the suffering, but rather we can be grateful in the suffering.