Life of Gratitude.

Lisa Thal

One word Gratitude! What are you thankful for today?

Let me start by wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. This is my favorite holiday of the year. Mainly because of the three words Family, Friends, and Football. I know you thought I would say food – yes, that is a close third.

Thanksgiving means expressing or feeling thankfulness—a time to pause and give thanks for all your life experiences.

I was on a zoom call earlier in the week, and as an icebreaker, everyone shared what they were grateful for with the group. The answers varied from Health, kids, spouse, family, and friends. One word connected me to the list, experiences! I started to reflect on all the moments and experiences I was grateful for in my life.

My Health is at the top of the list. I believe that without excellent Health, it is harder to experience life. Your physical and mental Health is the key to how you feel and approach life. It takes energy to carry you through each day. I start every day with a gratitude mantra when I run and walk my pups in the morning. I am grateful for the ability to see, hear, breathe and connect with nature, especially after experiencing vertigo this summer which was no fun. The days of dizziness were a great reminder that our lives can get out of balance. I recommend taking this time to re-evaluate how much sleep you are getting, your hydration (not just the alcohol), the food you eat that fuels your energy throughout the day, and your mental Health. How can you keep your life in balance?

Connections in my life would be next on the list. Life is better when shared with others. I am so thankful to be able to talk to my mom at 91 and my sisters Tracy and Lynn every morning. Grateful to experience life with my wife, Olivia. It will be 23 years of seeing and sharing many life moments in January. She is my go-to person in life. Liv is there to listen and encourages me to keep experiencing life.

Grateful for our fur kids. This year we lost our 12-year pup Dakota unexpectedly. I miss him so much! Our other dogs, Phoenix and Denali, love their walks and van rides to hike in the woods. They teach us to appreciate nature and live in the moment, even if that means chasing squirrels and deer.

How about the friends in your life? Your chosen family. Friends from childhood that help shape your life. How about the Friendships that develop throughout your life? I am beyond grateful for all the friendships I have in life. I can’t imagine life without these unique souls. These heart connections, I believe, are to help connect us on a deeper level. I look forward to all the moments we share and appreciate each gift they offer.

One final thought I am thankful for is the learning experiences – the good ones and the ones you think what my lesson with this one was. Over the years, I have come to appreciate those challenging moments. They offer a new perspective on a topic or situation, a different viewpoint. They push me to rethink a topic or new way of approaching a situation. These are my favorite moments, as they may feel a bit uncomfortable. When we experience and embrace that feeling, it expands/ stretches us.

How can you find Gratitude each day?
Make it a habit!
Take a few minutes a day while sipping your favorite morning beverage, when driving to work, while exercising, or when you lay your head on your pillow at the end of the day. Acknowledge the people and experiences that have shaped the person you are today. Because this life you are living is a gift, you, too, are a gift to others.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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