Cindy Hoard

Inspirational Author and Psychologist

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I hope that your reflections on personal gratitude have heighted appreciation for what you bring to your relationships with others. No doubt there are those who don’t identify with individuals who have a strong “birth family” who others describe as family. But I ask you to consider anyone who is important to you, a special part of your life and cares deeply about you as part of your family. While we each have a “family of origin” we may also have a “chosen family” which can be even more important to us. Certainly, we can have really good, close friends who we view as family.

Broaden Your Experience of Gratitude
While it is vital to start with yourself and remember your gifts, widening the scope of your landscape to others can be incredibly enriching. You can share some of your gratitude with this potentially ever-growing element of your life. Remind yourself about key support systems of your life and consider other places you can share your wisdom and support. Always keep your personal needs and energy resources in mind. Who are you grateful for in your life and have you expressed that gratitude to that person recently? We all need to nurture relationships we have, and it can be as simple as a verbal “thank you.” If you can be specific that is even richer. “Thank you for listening to me when we talked about. . .” “I want you to know how much I appreciate your affirmation of (something you said or did) meant so much to me.” Nothing fake, you have to “feel” it! Only share it if you really feel it. If you really want to up the ante, think about sending a personal “Thank You Note” actually writing and mailing or personally delivering a thank you note. That may seem old fashioned, but it is so much more personal than an email or text and may be a surprise to the other person.

Some Gifts of Expressing Gratitude
Check this out for yourself in a few moments of reflection with some deep cleansing breaths. Notice how you are feeling in your body and your mood. Don’t analyze or judge yourself, just be aware and smile. Your expressions of gratitude are wonderful models for others and could inadvertently shift things for the other person in a positive way. This whole idea of greater awareness of gratitude can plant seeds of hope and remind all of us we have much to celebrate in life.

Some potential unexpected benefits supported in many studies include: increased empathy for ourselves and others; improved physical health; enhanced insights into the meaning and purpose of life; not to mention more happiness and feelings of pleasure.

Keep up the personal gratitude piece since it sets the scene for broadening and expressing gratitude.

How about including moments of gratitude for each other at your Thanksgiving celebration? You may define it further by suggesting a focus on remembering special activities or times when you were together. If you are feeling really bold, what about “What I so love/like about. . .” a more personal declaration of gratitude.

Reflect on the different ways you personally are a gift to others (and practice breathing each time). Then recall the specific gratitude you feel for others in your life.

You are a blessing to others in many ways! Let your gratitude permeate you and spread in unimagined ways.

I am so fortunate to be able to express my appreciation for each of you every week. It brightens my day.

Thank You – Cindy