"Let us give thanks.” This little phrase resonates with me. Deep into my soul why: Because as a child we used to say it all the time. We used to say it at practically every meal. We would start the meal by saying Grace. This would always begin with “Let us give thanks”. And then we would name the food we were about to eat. “Let us give thanks for spaghetti hoops.”
My family and the Christian community were onto something. This simple practise meant that I was always conscious of how lucky I was that I have many things to give thanks for; Right there in front of me. It is important to live in an active world of gratitude. The clever bit was the continuity. We did it repeatedly, we did it every meal, we did it sleep walking; we did it till it was an unconscious response. It became a habit. We gave thanks without thinking about it. This in many ways is where we want to get. To have gratitude as our default, but how do we get there? We get there by being conscious in our ritual of giving thanks. We practise.
I do it by journaling. Every day, and I mean every day, I write in my Gratitude journal, conscious repetition. I give thanks for all the little things. Yes, I give thanks for having a wonderful husband and for having two healthy, happy children, but it’s the little things I strive to notice. So for instance, this morning I have given thanks for running water, I have given thanks for a kettle, I have given thanks for instant coffee, I have given thanks for a clean cup. Yes you guessed it; I start my day with a cuppa. In my journal I write the words out in full. “I am grateful for…” Repeatedly I write “I am grateful for…”
Adopting an attitude of gratitude also means there is a couple of words that get used repeatedly. Yup, those magic words: “Thank you.” Do you remember when your mom and dad used to say that… when we would ask for something, they would say “What’s the magic word?” The word Please was a default and of course – the words Thank you. Living a life full of thanks is living a fulfilled life.
It is October as I write. This is the time of Thanksgiving. This is when we give thanks for the harvest. It is a holiday in my native Canada. An extra day where we eat turkey, we gather round as a family and we start that special meal with “Let us give thanks…”
Again – it is an easy practise with profound repercussions. If you have so much to give thanks for, maybe you are living a wonderful life. You just have to wake up to it. That is all that we seek to recognize.
Thank you for reading this.
By Kate Hull Rodgers
About the Author – Kate Hull Rodgers is an expert by experience. She has been mentally ill since 1986, more than 30 years. She is diagnosed as bi polar and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) Every day she battles to be in recovery, many days she wins. She speaks in corporate workplaces with her company www.humourus.co.uk. She has spoken in 29 countries. Also she runs Stepping Stone Theatre for Mental Health www.steppingstonetheatre.co.uk with her husband, Bill- and she is still