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Inspiration: What Am I Thankful For Tonight?

05/02/2012
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“We can be thankful to a friend for a few acres, or a little money; and yet for the freedom and command of the whole earth, and for the great benefits of our being, our life, health, and reason, we look upon ourselves as under no obligation.”  Seneca

Inspiration: What Am I Thankful For Tonight? Star of Life...

What are you thankful for tonight? Today? Tonight, I am thankful for the gift of life… I value every breath I take because I know what it is like to be close to not having life. Some years ago, I almost lost my life. I was in my 30s and my heart was failing. I needed surgery right away. As I hovered between the world of the living and that of the dead, all that mattered was my love for my children, my family and my friends. When you’ve come that close to the edge, you begin to realize that all of life is ephemeral and that the things that matter have no price. Writing Mirth and Motivation, my offline writing project, meditation, prayer, and my loved ones remind me of that fact daily…. Cherish your life; even if no one else does. What are you thankful for today?

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” Albert Schweitzer

Inspiration: What Am I Thankful For Tonight? Fire of Love...

I am thankful for the fire of love that permeates all that we do with purpose and passion. I am thankful for the expressions of love that come from the small acts of kindness; kind words, actions, thoughts and gifts of goodwill that we show each other. The fire of love is in all of us and even though we seek it in the familiar, our family and friends, often that love is fired by the goodness that comes from people’s grace. The fire of love keeps us motivated and hopeful that our conditions will improve; that our plans will bear fruit; that our dreams will become reality; and we must hold onto that belief without allowing outside distractions to get in the way. I am a pretty focused person and not easily swayed by the latest glittering offering… the fire within keeps me sane.  We must all kindle ours; all answers are there, especially where creativity is concerned. Someone once told me that people don’t care about our stories and our struggles so it’s best to shut up. As long as we care about our own stories, we are ahead of the game. If our stories help even one person then we have done a world, a lifetime of good. Forget the naysayers.

“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.” William Blake

Inspiration: What Am I Thankful For Tonight? Family Tree...

Our families are like trees; deeply rooted foundations with many branches extended outwards connecting us to each other. Each branch represents the continuation of the family tree through our progeny, our lineage, our history, our legacy. I am thankful for my family tree and the meaning it brings to all that I am and all that I can be. There is a popular saying attributed to Chinua Achebe‘s Things Fall Apart, it says, “He who does not know where he is going must, at least, know where he is coming from.” In many African communities, people always ask who your family is when they meet you. Your individual name carries less weight than the family name and history that precedes you. So they ask, “My dear, which compound/household do you belong to? What are your ancestral ties?” Whenever I feel disconnected, I reach back to my ancestral connections and remember the ties that strengthen and affirm me. I am thankful for the ties…

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” Henry Ward Beecher

Inspiration: What Am I Thankful For Tonight? Friendships matter...

I have never been casual about my friendships. Perhaps, it has to do with the fact that my family moved continents when I was young, we lived through a civil war, and I got to attend schools in several countries. With that level of movement, I learned to adapt to new environments and make friends quickly. It also meant that a spirit of discernment was imperative as we were often the new kids in school and easy prey to bullies and stragglers. I value all my friends and I have stayed in touch with them for many, many years. I am thankful for the true friends whose wisdom and grace have lifted me over the years, and I am thankful for the insincere friends and haters whose actions have strengthened my resolve to look closely and read deeply; when people show you who they truly are, believe them. They come, they go, and we all grow… More below & Thank You! 🙂

“So often we dwell on the things that seem impossible rather than on the things that are possible. So often we are depressed by what remains to be done and forget to be thankful for all that has been done.” Marian Wright Edelman

Inspiration: What Am I Thankful For Tonight? Glass of Gratitude...

Complaining is easy… It is also habit forming; just like gratitude and a thankful spirit are habit forming. When we find ourselves falling into the abyss of whine, it won’t hurt to stop and count our blessings. It would be helpful to ask the questions: What is the lesson in this annoyance? What can I do to move forward? Quite often, our frustrations about situations come from feeling powerless to make changes. We are powerful; we just need to believe that we are capable of making decisions that will help ease our fears and resolve our difficulties. Do we have daily struggles? Yes, we all do. If I shared mine you might be surprised but this is not the forum for it. This is my place and space for peace and rejuvenation, and I am thankful for that too.  Have a great week ahead! What about you? What are your thoughts? What are you thankful for tonight? today? What are you thankful for overall? What gives you joy right now? If you could pick only 3 things to be thankful for, what would you choose? Do share! Thank you. 😉

This post was inspired by a blog post from Deborah Bryan and CSRoth. Thank you both!
Positive Motivation Tip: A Thankful heart never ceases to see the grace and blessings that are our gifts… say thank you freely.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Star of Life, Fire of Love, Family tree, Friendships, Gratitude Cathedral Glass by Widdomquinn, via Wikipedia or via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

65 Comments leave one →
  1. 06/02/2012 1:09 am

    Inspiring as always. Thank you so much for sharing what you’ve got.

    • 06/02/2012 1:11 am

      Thank you for stopping by MK. I am grateful we are connected in the blogosphere. Have a great week ahead! 🙂

  2. 06/02/2012 3:17 am

    Have a great weekday! I’m thankful to everyone who I meet with.

    • 06/02/2012 3:42 am

      I’m thankful too and perhaps being thankful makes some people uncomfortable… that is life. TY Cocomino. Have a great week ahead! 🙂

  3. 06/02/2012 3:55 am

    that could be the reason for your open minded heart, indeed:
    Perhaps, it has to do with the fact that my family moved continents when I was young, we lived through a civil war, and I got to attend schools in several countries. With that level of movement, I learned to adapt to new environments and make friends quickly.

    • 06/02/2012 4:51 am

      Yes, it makes for a high level of cultural appreciation and willingness to connect with others. It also means that sometimes people can’t fit you into their preconceived box of what they imagine you should be… Now that is truly sad but it happens too. At this point in my life, I should say nothing surprises me but that is not true. Human behavior is full of surprises. 😉

  4. 06/02/2012 4:35 am

    I really enjoyed your blog today Elizabeth – beautiful photos too.

    Thanks for your comments on my blog today too!

    Lorraine 🙂

    • 06/02/2012 4:52 am

      You are welcome Lorraine. I hope you enjoyed your time away from blogging? I will be doing same sometime. 🙂

  5. 06/02/2012 4:39 am

    Perfect for Monday morning. Thank you dear for inspiring me! 🙂

    • 06/02/2012 4:53 am

      TY Natalie for your feedback… It is appreciated. 🙂

  6. 06/02/2012 4:55 am

    Beautiful and such an inspirational post! Thank you as always for sharing Eliz. 🙂

    • 06/02/2012 5:12 am

      TY for stopping by Ropcorn. I felt led to write it, and I hope it helps or is meaningful to someone in need .

  7. 06/02/2012 5:30 am

    Great post, Elizabeth.
    One of the things I looked forward to when I was thinking of returning was the connections I would re-establish. When I introduce myself in certain places, people ask if I’m related to so and so. When I return to the community where my mother’s family still lives, it’s their names I use to establish my bona fides. It’s their name, more than mine that becomes my passport.
    I’m thankful for my life, family and friends; for the person I am and the life I have.
    I’m thankful for people like you, Elizabeth, who remind me everyday how wonderful life is. Thank you!

    • 06/02/2012 6:30 am

      I am thankful that I met you too… It doesn’t surprise me that the same approach to recognizing people happens in Jamaica. We are all tied to our family trees and that is why people talk constantly about protecting their family reputation and so on. You hear that a lot as a kid… such memories eh? 😉

      • 13/02/2012 4:11 am

        Some things are hard to shake, no matter the distance, no matter the time. With everything else that we’ve embraced, I’m so glad that we haven’t lost that.
        Beautiful memories. More and more, I find myself falling back on them.

  8. 06/02/2012 5:54 am

    Before I read that final note, I was going to answer simply, “The sound of my son’s snores.” That sound is only one, but it represents so many other sweet sounds and moments. I’m thankful for many things, but my son is the greatest.

    Then I read that final note and thought, “I’m grateful for that, too!” And I am. Thanks, lady. ♥

    • 06/02/2012 6:39 am

      TY Deborah and you know that last post you wrote got me thinking… I still owe you my gratitude post which I’m working on; viewed through a slightly different lens. TY for your comment and for the insight too! 🙂

  9. 06/02/2012 6:57 am

    And I am thankful for the good health of the whole family and for the fairly peaceful, normal life I am able to lead. As you said we realize how insignificant many things are when we are facing a real problem, like a serious illness.
    May be just a coincidence, but whenever I am disturbed I find the right advice in your posts. 🙂 And that’s the THIRD thing I am thankful for tonight!

    • 07/02/2012 8:44 pm

      TY and I am touched and thankful for your blog friendship too! Yes, without our health, we have nothing. 🙂

  10. 06/02/2012 8:25 am

    hmmm.. just three? I feel thankful for so much that it’s hard to whittle down, but here are my TOP 3
    1. the love of my three children who I’m honored to call fine citizens.
    2. my optimism/resiliency–i never see a half empty glass..BUT if it’s bone dry i know there’s a way to refill it and also know I’ll figure out how.
    3. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new if I stay open to it.

    there are so many others, of course, but these three encompass most of the others.

    great post, elizabeth..and if I can add a fourth, I’m thankful I found your blog!

    • 07/02/2012 8:47 pm

      I am thankful for your connection too! We can name more than 3 things we are thankful for; 3 was just a magical number and I picked it. 🙂

  11. 06/02/2012 10:07 am

    Most definitely inspiring!!!!

  12. 06/02/2012 10:43 am

    The Harriet Ward Beecher quote is just the best! Wonderful post with lots of wonderful pictures to trigger us into being truly thankful and grateful and celebrate every molecule of goodness in the world all around us!

    • 07/02/2012 8:50 pm

      TY granbee! I appreciate the feedback and suggestions and will make sure to check again soon.

  13. 06/02/2012 12:46 pm

    Elizabeth this is a wonderful post, I really like the Albert Schweitzer quote and of course Mr Achebe, that goes without saying.

    • 07/02/2012 8:52 pm

      TY! I loved them both too! I am thankful for our connection. 🙂

  14. 06/02/2012 1:00 pm

    That was an inspiration, thanks for sharing. Let’s always be grateful 🙂

  15. 06/02/2012 2:23 pm

    Yesterday, I watched a terrific TED talk on Happiness on Creating Reciprocity’s blog. To rewire our brain for happiness:

    1. Gratitude lists teach us to scan for the positives.
    2. Journaling about one positive thing each day does the same.
    3. Exercise improves mood.
    4. Meditation reminds us to focus on the task at hand.
    5. Random acts of kindness expand our compassion.

    Here’s to Gratitude . . . #1 on the list! 😀

    • 06/02/2012 3:47 pm

      Thank you! Yes, I get TED and have seen the video before and actually, I do everything you just listed and did them well before TED because they made me feel good and complete. So I can attest to the fact that it works. Also noted it on CR’s blog. Thanks for your insights Nancy! 🙂

  16. 06/02/2012 3:41 pm

    Gosh, Eliz. My heart is heavy aplenty with all that I am thankful for–even the little, insignificant things make me realize how lucky I am to be alive! Wonderful post.

  17. 06/02/2012 3:50 pm

    Thank you for this.. we all need reminding from time to time how fortunate we are…

    • 07/02/2012 9:08 pm

      TY too Hellen! Yes, we all need the reminders and this is a chance for me to revisit the topic of gratitude. 🙂

  18. 06/02/2012 4:45 pm

    Hi Elizabeth – another great post. We all have so very much to be grateful for but sometimes we do forget. I have a gratitude ritual that I go through every morning in the shower saying out aloud all the things for which I am grateful. At the top of the list is always my loving and supporting family.

    • 07/02/2012 9:10 pm

      That is a beautiful ritual. I love the idea of a gratitude shower. TY! 😉

  19. 06/02/2012 6:05 pm

    Upon awakening each day I say a prayer of thanks for the day at hand, for the love that exists in my family, for the abundance showered upon me each day. Upon going to sleep each night I say a prayer of thanks for the day. Gratitude is soothing to the soul.
    Wonderful post Elizabeth.

    • 07/02/2012 9:14 pm

      Beautiful and I do same… It has sustained me during many challenging months. TY! 🙂

  20. 06/02/2012 8:38 pm

    Hi Elizabeth, this post is great! I enjoyed reading through this as it is a timely reminder for each of us to sit back and reflect on our lives and recognise the people and things that we should be grateful for. Thank you for sharing this thought provoking post. Have a wonderful week 🙂

    • 07/02/2012 9:17 pm

      TY for your feedback. I felt like I was sharing a page from my journal and I’m glad the feedback has been positive. 🙂

  21. 06/02/2012 9:04 pm

    I’m thankful for a healthy family and that my children, in their thirties, love me and respect me. My parents are still living and in good health and I have grandchildren to round it out! I have more than most…just by nature of this bounty, and I thank God for my blessings every day. Thank you, Elizabeth

    • 07/02/2012 9:19 pm

      Amen and may you continue to be blessed… TY for your sharing and I extend same blessings for all of us. 🙂

  22. 06/02/2012 9:06 pm

    I enjoyed . . .
    1. reading your thoughts on being thankful
    2. the book, Things Fall Apart and these words:
    “Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness.” (lots of lessons here)
    I am also thankful for . . . the gift of life, caring bloggers like yourself and family and friends who stand with you through thick or thin moments in life.

    • 07/02/2012 9:22 pm

      I am thankful for you too. I’m gad to read that you’ve delved into the richness of that classic book. 🙂

  23. 06/02/2012 9:45 pm

    Great post!! Being thankful is so important.
    I am thankful for everything that I CAN do. Way too often we focus on what we can’t do..

    • 07/02/2012 9:29 pm

      Amen to that! Focus on the here and now and the rest follows. 🙂

  24. 06/02/2012 11:25 pm

    And I am thankful for you, Eliz. 🙂
    That’s why I gave you the Liebster Blog Award: http://viviankirkfield.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/academy-award-of-the-blogosphere-the-liebster-award/

    • 07/02/2012 9:35 pm

      Aw TY so much Vivian! I am thankful for our connection too!. 🙂 I will stop by your blog to thank you again. 🙂

  25. 07/02/2012 7:04 am

    Your post is very inspiring and thought-provoking, my friend. I am so grateful for my life and the ability to live it out everyday. Thank you for using your gifts and talents to inspire and motivate others.

    • 07/02/2012 9:38 pm

      TY for your generous words and blog love! I’m glad we connected and it’s good to see you back blogging. 🙂

  26. 07/02/2012 2:15 pm

    I love your use of quotes on this blog! It inspires me to quote more often! Thanks!

    • 07/02/2012 9:39 pm

      I love using and finding suitable quotes. I’ve learned so much from reading and sharing them with others. TY! 🙂

  27. 07/02/2012 9:36 pm

    So glad you are still here to inspire and be a light of positivity, Elizabeth! Thank you!

    • 07/02/2012 9:43 pm

      Oh TY Carla and I feel the same way about you too! 🙂

  28. 09/02/2012 12:36 am

    Three things?

    I am thankful I met my husband, that we won our battle and are together and today I am thankful that Mr O had two job interviews yesterday and looks like he will be offered both jobs!

    I love the fire of love photo. Beautiful.

    • 11/09/2012 8:04 pm

      Happy for you too and thankful for the connection. 😉

  29. 09/02/2012 11:27 pm

    This is a wonderful post, Elizabeth – thank you

  30. 12/02/2012 8:12 pm

    Today I am thankful for my husband of 23 years!

    • 11/09/2012 8:05 pm

      Amen to that and here’s to many more. 😉

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