“Make it a habit to tell people – Thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.” Ralph Marston
I’m thankful for every moment. Al Green
I think in this life it’s important to be kind, be thankful, and always be creative. Bishop Briggs
Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts. Henri Frederic Amiel
Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts. Alan Cohen
GIVING THANKS FOR WHAT? As we enter the giving season and the subsequent holidays and festivities that follow, what are we truly thankful for? In what specific ways are we expressing such gratitude? Throughout the year, we have many opportunities to celebrate our successes, mourn our losses, and commiserate over our what-ifs, however, do we stop to say a firm and loud Thank YOU? Do we follow up that expression of gratitude with actions that lift us and others up? This Thanksgiving season, let’s make an extra effort to pause, look back on the ending year, and express sincere gratitude for all the experiences that touched our lives; the good, the bad and the mundane. Every experience we encountered this year, be it in small or large ways, has had an impact on us. If we stop to think about all the people who crossed our path, we’d be surprised how much we remember because we all leave impressions with each other. When people perform actions that uplift others, those impressions reverberate and spread further afield, allowing that energy to flow to others. That is why charitable giving is a fundamental part of Giving Tuesday. That is also why we celebrate Diwali, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Eid Al-Fitr, Christmas, and so many more ways we show gratitude. As we give, we open doors to receive. Every opportunity to give opens our hearts and allows us to acknowledge our strengths, weaknesses and our blessings.
ARE YOU TRULY THANKFUL FOR FAMILY? – THANKFUL FOR MY MOTHER: As I look back on the ending year, I am thankful for so many specific things: my life, health, and family come to mind but, specifically, I am thankful that my dear Mother who passed away recently had a chance to meet all of her grandchildren. She had been ailing for so many years after surviving a massive stroke and died peacefully at home in August. She is at rest now… She had five kids and nine grandkids and we will miss her terribly. As we prepare for her funeral/home going, I am reminded of how much DNA we inherit from our parents. We add bits from theirs to ours and this informs our personality and life path. My Mom studied catering and hotel management, and it showed in how well she ran her household. She was an avid gardener, a superb chef and dinner party host, an art-lover/collector, a budding singer/music lover, a fashion maven, a world traveler and so much more. Like every Mom out there raising kids, she always wanted the best for us and I wish she had been well enough to see us grow…I am thankful for all that she was and could have been.
HONORING THE LIVING AND THE DEAD: Because we grow up around family members and extended family, it is easy to take those relationships for granted until our parents, grandparents or others we know pass away. Being Thankful begins in our own homes and extends to our connections with other humans first. Then we can begin to include everything else. If nothing else stands out to you in this post, please REMEMBER my post is not just about being thankful for generalities and good times. It’s about being THANKFUL first for life – both for our loved ones living in the here and now, and for those who have passed on… we can’t even begin to be thankful for anything else if we don’t have a life force coursing through our bodies. That is why we celebrate Veterans Day and Memorial Day too: To REMEMBER and to EXPRESS thanks to those who served and lived, and those who served and died.
Below is a list that I often share and you can add more to it in your expression of thankfulness. Be Thankful for:
The gift of life
The gift of love
The gift of writing
The gift of health ~
The gift of time and memories ~The gift of family, friends, and people we meet ~
The gift of a meal ~
The gift of mental clarity ~
The gift of speech ~
The gift of gratitude
WHAT AM I THANKFUL FOR?
My recipe of thanks will have …
A vat full of love,
Endless cups of life,
Pounds and ounces of friends,
100 ladles of family,
9 tablespoons of health,
1 teaspoon from home,
Sprinkles from everyone,
Bowls of everything that uplifts humanity,
Carefully fold in scoops of our pets,
Mix in the power of prayer and
Add God’s immutable grace…
Stir with gusto and enjoy! from Elizabeth & Family
“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” Tecumseh
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
When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others. Dalai Lama
I write about the power of trying because I want to be okay with failing. I write about generosity because I battle selfishness. I write about joy because I know sorrow. I write about faith because I almost lost mine, and I know what it is to be broken and in need of redemption. I write about gratitude because I am thankful – for all of it. Kristin Armstrong
WHY DOES IT MATTER?: Being thankful reminds us to be both humble and grateful because no one knows what tomorrow holds. When you read about someone who showed so much promise but lost the battle of life to disease, war, crime or any other tragedy, it is easy to forget that it could be anyone we know up close. Life is fleeting and we become more grounded in appreciating life when we treat it with respect and gratitude. Being thankful makes us increase our efforts at taking better care of ourselves and our loved ones; it helps us let go of anger, unforgiveness, and ancient hatreds. If we stop to think about those who live in far more challenging environments with fewer opportunities for growth or exposure, we will use our thankfulness as a springboard for action. Being thankful compels us to act in beneficial ways towards our planet and others because when we wish good for ourselves and are thankful for it, we are naturally inclined to wish the same for others. If you take a moment to read the poem/short story from Khalil Gibran below, you will begin to understand the complex meaning of the fleeting moments we all have in our pursuits of the joy of life, because the presence of some form of frustration or sorrow is always a few yards away and it ever abounds. Be thankful for your life and all in it, and support causes that help others around the world, because you probably have the following 10 things and so many don’t:
1. Life away from a war zone
2. Freedom of choice to move/learn/purchase
3. Clean Water and Clean unpolluted air
4. Basic Health Care
6. Food variety
7. Educational opportunities
9. Democracy/Due process
10. Freedom of religious
Two Infants by Khalil Gibran via A Tear And A Smile – Parables, Stories, and Poems of Khalil Gibran
A prince stood on the balcony of his palace addressing a great multitude summoned for the occasion and said, “Let me offer you and this whole fortunate country my congratulations upon the birth of a new prince who will carry the name of my noble family, and of whom you will be justly proud. He is the new bearer of a great and illustrious ancestry, and upon him depends the brilliant future of this realm. Sing and be merry!” The voices of the throngs, full of joy and thankfulness, flooded the sky with exhilarating song, welcoming the new tyrant who would affix the yoke of oppression to their necks by ruling the weak with bitter authority, and exploiting their bodies and killing their souls. For that destiny, the people were singing and drinking ecstatically to the heady of the new Emir.
Another child entered life and that kingdom at the same time. While the crowds were glorifying the strong and belittling themselves by singing praise to a potential despot, and while the angels of heaven were weeping over the people’s weakness and servitude, a sick woman was thinking. She lived in an old, deserted hovel and, lying in her hard bed beside her newly born infant wrapped with ragged swaddles, was starving to death. She was a penurious and miserable young wife neglected by humanity; her husband had fallen into the trap of death set by the prince’s oppression, leaving a solitary woman to whom God had sent, that night, a tiny companion to prevent her from working and sustaining life.
As the mass dispersed and silence was restored to the vicinity, the wretched woman placed the infant on her lap and looked into his face and wept as if she were to baptize him with tears. And with a hunger weakened voice, she spoke to the child saying, “Why have you left the spiritual world and come to share with me the bitterness of earthly life? Why have you deserted the angels and the spacious firmament and come to this miserable land of humans, filled with agony, oppression, and heartlessness? I have nothing to give you except tears; will you be nourished on tears instead of milk? I have no silk clothes to put on you; will my naked, shivering arms give you warmth? The little animals graze in the pasture and return safely to their shed, and the small birds pick the seeds and sleep placidly between the branches. But you, my beloved, have naught save a loving but destitute mother.”
Then she took the infant to her withered breast and clasped her arms around him as if wanting to join the two bodies in one, as before. She lifted her burning eyes slowly toward heaven and cried, “God! Have mercy on my unfortunate countrymen!”
At that moment the clouds floated from the face of the moon, whose beams penetrated the transom of that poor home and fell upon two corpses.
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for JUL–AUG 2019 are:
10/01 – End of Roshashana, Nigeria Independence Day, 05 World Teacher Day
10/06 – 06 World Communion Day, 11 International Day of the Girl
10/13 – 14 Columbus Day, Canadian Thanksgiving, 16 World Food Day
10/20 – 24 United Nations Day, National Food Day,
10/27 – 28 National Chocolate Day, 31 Halloween
11/01 – 01 All Saints Day, 02 All Souls Day
11/03 – 03 Daylight Savings day, 04 Election day,
11/10 – 11 Veterans Day, 13 World Kindness Day, 16 International Tolerance Day
11/17 – 20 Universal Children’s Day
11/24 – 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 28 Thanksgiving Day
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“‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” Alice Walker
I am thankful I can see much to admire in all religions. Alfred Russel Wallace
Talent is God-given; be humble. Fame is man-given; be thankful. Conceit is self-given; be careful. Harvey Mackay
Let me encourage you to get up every day and focus on what you do have in life. Be thankful for the blessings of the little things, even when you don’t get what you expect. Victoria Osteen
Thank you, dear God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough. Thank you for the rain. And for the chance to wake up in three hours and go fishing: I thank you for that now, because I won’t feel so thankful then. Garrison Keillor
HOW CAN WE BECOME MORE THANKFUL?: A few years ago, in another post on this blog, I shared a list of ten ways to cultivate a spirit of gratitude. Thankfulness and gratitude walk hand in hand and we can begin to live it by expressing it. While words have tremendous power to propel us to change, they can only have a powerful impact if we ACT on them. If we read words and leave them by our trash can, they become platitudes with minimal effect. We must connect our words with our actions every day and we can do so in small ways. Are we allowed to trip up? Of course, to err is human so trip up and pick yourself back up. We all do. Start where you feel most comfortable but just go ahead and start by expressing your thankfulness and gratitude. Remember you can express it in so many ways by your actions, thoughts, and words. Here are 10 ways to get the ball rolling:
1. Begin each day with an expression of Thanks… Thank your body, your mind, your space, your Creator, all around you and all who you will be in contact with each day
2. Cultivate an attitude of giving thanks and giving back. Perform a random act of goodwill in thought, deed, and action every day. A smile, a quiet prayer for someone else, a helping hand, a compliment, volunteering time, a gift, and even a call will help us help others.
3. Make a commitment to remember the grace in small things and to trust that disappointments are lessons
4. Be Present in your life and in exchanges with others and see the grace in your interactions.
5. Cultivate a spirit of forgiveness; Learn to forgive others, to let go of judgments, old hurts, and slights
6. Be grateful for all the good that has crossed your path; the mentors, good Samaritans, friends, family, and strangers
7. Maintain a journal and/or write a list of things you are grateful for each day. It could be 1-5 or more.
8. Take stock of your struggles and successes; applaud your progress and forgive your missteps
9. What makes you happy? Are you where you want to be? Write it down and create a collage of your dreams/goals from old magazines and printouts.
10. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude by celebrating the life you have instead of waiting for the life you want. Celebrate the good and bad days, the ups and downs and the struggles that have sharpened your understanding and mellowed the fire in your belly. Celebrate!
As you prepare for the holiday season and all that comes with it, don’t forget to say Thank You! Every year, I stop to contemplate what each year has taught me, and I am grateful for the good and the harsh lessons. I contemplate the good/bad of the months before and affirm the blessings of the months to come. I say thank you to my Creator and to all the people who’ve contributed something to my life. Thank You to my readers, to all of you who stop by to comment or just read this blog, to friends and family online and off, to my fellow bloggers, various Sponsors, WordPress staffers and happiness engineers, my social media and Facebook groups friends, friends in various communities, and everyone out there. Sending thank you and gratitude vibes to everyone!
Giving Chapter V by Khalil Gibran
Then said a rich man, “Speak to us of Giving.”
And he answered:
You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?
And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the over-prudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city?
And what is fear of need but need itself?
Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, thirst that is unquenchable?
There are those who give little of the much which they have – and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome.
And there are those who have little and give it all.
These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.
There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.
And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.
And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue;
They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.
Though the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth.
It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding;
And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving
And is there aught you would withhold?
All you have shall someday be given;
Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors’.
You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.”
The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.
They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.
Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights is worthy of all else from you.
And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.
And what desert greater shall there be than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving?
And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed?
See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving.
For in truth it is life that gives unto life – while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.
And you receivers – and you are all receivers – assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives.
Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings;
For to be over-mindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the free-hearted earth for mother and God for father. Khalil Gibran
Positive Motivation Tip: Remember to be Thankful and say it. The more you express it, the more it grows.
Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.
Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
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PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos – via Pixabay