Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thoughts on Thank Yous

Today as I lapped around Como Lake on my Sunday afternoon jog, I found myself reflecting on a segment I saw on CBS Sunday Morning, the lost art of hand written thank-yous. The journalist interviewed a man who decided to start writing thank you cards to everyone for whom he held appreciations: he thanked his child's piano teacher, his clients for payment, and the barista at Starbucks for remembering his name. His statement was that a simple show of appreciation brings brought more positive energy to his life in general, and the things for which he was thankful began to flourish all around him.

I realized how rare a thought this might be in our society today. We are so focused on what we don't have, or what we can't do, that we so often fail to remember what we do have and what we can do. As is often the case, I immediately thanked the Universe for my body, which rarely refuses to do what I ask of it, and my mother for instilling the values of good health and the tools to make healthy decisions. This thank you was a little ironic today, as I literally had to drag myself out of the house to do the run! I then thanked Mother Nature for the absolutely beautiful day She blessed St. Paul with, and I thanked the City of Saint Paul for maintaining the path around Como Lake so we may enjoy it during the throes of winter.

As I rounded the second lap, I noticed the American flag flying high next to the cafe on the park and immediately was thankful to live in America, where I can come and go from my home freely without danger of looters, go to the grocery store and have a selection of foods inconceivable in some parts of the world, and hold whatever spiritual beliefs I choose and not be persecuted. Flawed as America may be, she is certainly worth the gratitude of all her citizens.

The more I reflected, the longer the list of thanks became. I am grateful for a steady income, a working vehicle, and a home I can call my own. I realized how abundant my life is, and how easily I fall into the trap of whining over what I don't have, or what I don't do well, or what I could do better. Instead, I need to practice focusing my energy on gratitude for what I have and put loving intention into all I do. Clearly this is something to practice, and on some days, it may not be perfect. But I need to try.

Thank you for your time to read this blog. I hope you are now thinking of the things for which you are grateful.

1 comment:

  1. Karen it is so easy to get wrapped up in what we don't have. It does seem to bring wave after wave of negativity... I've wittnessed it in my own life and in those I'm closest to. (you know who I'm talking about) When I do pray (which is fairly often now a day) I thank God for eveything he's given to me. Which is a lot! I've been just amazed at the people who've come out of the woodwork to help me raise money for my surgery... the most recent shock was my school nemesis 'Tara' coming forth and volunteering to plunge for me. This is the girl who made my school life miserable, Camp Fire Girls miserable, summer camp miserable... and here she is 25 some years later jumping in ice water for me. Life is full of crazy and wonderful surprises.
    For my plungers I am making each of them a little something from my creative side. Just a little token to show my appreciation. I've tried to thank everyone who's donated personally when I can.
    I am very thankful for your friendship dear girl. I'm looking forward to you rocking the bikini!