7 Days of Thanksgiving
This Thanksgiving might look different for you and your family. Perhaps COVID-19 will keep you apart. Perhaps a smiling face that graced your Thanksgiving table last year is no longer on this earth.
Whether you’re celebrating a reliable job or grieving the loss of a loved one, I find that a little bit of gratitude goes a long way in lifting my spirits—and the spirits of those around me.
That’s why I’ve created 7 Days of Thanksgiving, a week-long, mindful preparation leading up to Thanksgiving day. And I don’t mean turkey basting! I mean getting in touch with the people, things and circumstances that fill our hearts with gratitude. So, let’s dig in!
Day 1: Thankful Thirty (Friday, Nov. 20)
- Write 30 things for which you’re grateful
Sit down with your journal or at your computer and write a stream of consciousness list of what you’re thankful for. We’re shooting for thirty, but if you have more, go for it! Below are some ideas to get you rolling.
- Who has been a supportive friend this year?
- Which family member(s) have encouraged you the most?
- Who in your network (professional or personal) has inspired you in some way?
- What’s one item that you use every day that you’d greatly miss if you didn’t have it?
- What’s a food that makes you happy?
- What’s a piece of clothing/pair of shoes/accessory that sparks joy?
- What’s one conversation for which you’re grateful?
- What happened this year that ended up being a blessing in disguise?
- What is right about your life right this moment?
Day 2: Thankful Three People (Saturday, Nov. 21)
- Recognize three people you’re thankful for … and tell them!
Choose three people who really stepped up this year to love you well. Write them a note. Snail mail is the best (IMHO). You might tell ‘em how awesome they are, what they did that impacted you and how grateful you are for them in your life.
Day 3: Thankful Three Things (Sunday, Nov. 22)
- Identify three things you’re thankful for … and tell them!
Now, stay with me on this one. You’ve likely dropped a few notes in the mail or sent some mushy emails to your fave peeps. But now I invite you to gush on three things that well up joy in your life. Choose your three. I’ll wait.
Now, write them each a thank you note in your journal. Yep, that’s right. Tell that ghastly brown sweater you snagged at a rummage sale a decade (OK, over a decade) ago just how much you adore its cozy threads. Mush on your favorite food or drink—its warmth or coolness in your belly, the full aroma at your nostrils. Get your thankful on for the things that infuse joy into your daily life. I expect some fun social media engagement on this!
Day 4: Thankful Three Sitch (Monday, Nov. 23)
- Write about three situations that you’re thankful for
Mmkay, this year has been chock full of challenging situations. But I wager to bet that there’s still at least three things that went right … or are STILL going right this very moment. Write those situations down and why you’re grateful for them. (Pro tip: You’re not required to add “homeschooling kids unexpectedly” to the list!) 😉
Day 5: Thankful for Me (Tuesday, Nov. 24)
- Write 10 reasons why you are awesome!
Now you get to gush on your own gorgeous self. Maybe you’ve got high cheek bones that dazzle the camera. Or a snarky sense of humor that always lightens the mood. What are you most thankful for about your essence? Write at least 10 reasons why you’re awesome. Get your humblebrag on!
Day 6: Thankful for Nature (Wednesday, Nov. 25)
It’s getting chilly here in the Midwest. But just the right kind of chilly. Can I get a holler from my fellow autumn-lovin’ peeps?
So, Indiana’s leaves are gorgeous—red, orange, yellow—and draw folks from all over the world to see their fall-time show. Look out your window (or better yet, go outside!) and look around for things, scents, sensations that bring you joy and write it down in your journal (but experience them first). I can tell you that high on my list is the bright yellow leaves on the ancient oak tree outside my laundry room window … it’s a pure natural treat!
Day 7: Thankful for Unity (Thursday, Nov. 26)
Unity? You might ask me if I’ve been living on planet earth this year or got an early invitation to a utopian society on Mars. I indeed have been living on earth and have witnessed, as you have, separation, discord, sickness and isolation.
But you know what I’ve also seen? People standing up for other people, peaceful disagreements leading to deeper understanding and unprecedented ingenuity in e-communications and e-support.
We’ve weathered storm after emotional storm this year, folks. Some on a macro level like mentioned above. And some on a micro level like losing a job or loved one.
- Write down three examples of unity from this year that warmed your heart.
Now, go love on your people and enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving. Thank you for joining me on this 7 Days of Thanksgiving journey. I hope it has enriched your life this week and prepared your spirit for a mindful season of gratefulness.
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