November 23rd, 2011 12:12 PM by Korene L Clopine-Seaman
The holiday of Thanksgiving is rooted
in gratitude. When the early pilgrims sat down to dinner they gave thanks for
their safety, thanks for the food they foraged and grew, and thanks to the
Indians for not killing them instantly! They thanked God for the wonders of
this magnificent country and they thanked each other for their support, love
and kindness, even as they were frightened about the future, afraid of the coming winter, and missing the security they once knew. Does any of that sound familiar?
Giving thanks is not a natural impulse. We
say thank you when anyone does something nice for us. By the way, did you know
that the meaning of ‘nice’ is ‘socially acceptable’? Saying thank you is
not only polite, but it makes people feel good too.
But the gratitude I want to speak
about today is self-gratitude. I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful
for a loving family and lots of great friends who give my life meaning. I am
grateful for my wonderful clients who trust me to help them shape their lives
and finances, for the thousands of experiences, good and bad, that have
shaped my life, for the family, friends, colleagues, and referral partners who have shared of themselves while touching my life and help make me into the woman I am today.
Gratitude is the awareness of all the
good things that surround us, and which we consciously acknowledge on a daily
basis. That’s why I start with the advice to start a
Gratitude Journal. It’s a record of where you’ve been, what has inspired
you, and who you would like to acknowledge as part of your history. This is
YOUR history of the good things in your life. Writing it down is an act of
gratitude that keeps on giving.
I have several gratitude journals,
and at Thanksgiving, I sit down with them, and read through all the
amazing times I’ve had, blessed by the people I’ve met, worked with, dreamed
with, laughed with, shared my life with and the actions I’ve taken to maintain my life of purpose. It is a
blessing to reflect on your life from a gratitude perspective.
Being in gratitude is not hard. Even
when things may not be going as smoothly as you would like, all it takes is a
moment to reflect on what is right, as opposed to what is wrong with your
world. In those moments, we find our gratitude. There is gratitude in big
things and in small. Sometimes we just have to look harder.
If you are not actively practicing
gratitude in your life, start now. I challenge you to keep a gratitude journal.
Write five minutes a day on what you are grateful for that day. Write down the
people, places, and actions you feel inspired by, thankful for, and pay
attention to the effect you have had on others, and that they have had on you.
It does not need to be complicated. It can be as simple as a list.
Keep that going for the next six
months at least, and see what it does to your mindset.
Gratitude is an act of positivity, and
when we share our gratitude with others, it is the act that keeps on
Gratitude is not just a receiving
vehicle. It’s also a giving one. We feel gratitude in helping others to achieve
something, we feel gratitude knowing we can make a difference. That’s why I
love the work I do, and why I love delivering a mortgage or refinance to my clients and customers, I love the blogging and marketing that I do that
inspires you to think differently, take different actions, and ultimately help
you to create a meaningful life.
How many people do you want to help
today by giving them a compliment? How many people can you help to
brighten up their day by doing something for them that they didn’t ask for?
What does gratitude look like in your life?
the top of my list right now is my gratitude for the people who came together
to help me create an amazing celebration. This
year marketed the Twentieth Anniversary of my life. It was interesting,
inspiring, and a good time. I am grateful for the way it all came together, for
Pastor Robert McFarland for sharing the pulpit, for Darlene Neptune for sharing
her talent and testimony, for my brothers and sisters in Christ who shared this
night and experience with me. Without the support, love and passion that the
family of God, of those who did so much for me during the years of cancer
treatments, surgery, and side effects of the treatments and procedures, I would
not have been able to see the light at the end of the journey.
My heart and gratitude go to these
outstanding people who are here and those who have gone before us:
Dr. Vince Thompson,
my extraordinary surgeon who was diligent in the study and perfection of his
skill and knowledge.
Dr. David Strong and Dr. Henry
Neuman, the talented doctors who took the extra time and care to make
my life after cancer fully functional not an existence and made me feel better
all the time.
Karen Rausch, for friendship, sisterhood, toughness when needed,
and the tenderness not to let me quit when I was too tired to fight any more.
Karmyn Althaus, for stepping out of the role of “little
sister” and became chief care overseer to make sure I had the doctors,
medicine, care, and support I needed but did not always want or appreciate.
Kenneth Clopine, cousin above and beyond, who changed his entire
life to “help however he could” but always with heart and kindness and
generosity of time, talents, resources, and optimism.
Myron Clopine, best uncle who reminded me of Biblical truth,
promises, heritage, and confidence.
Lyle and Ruth Clopine, my parents who always step to the plate with what
they have and then reach inside for more to support, encourage, kick you in
butt, and most of all for their prayers.
Darlene and Dennis Neptune, who came from Florida to encourage, share, uplift in
word, song, and sharing of struggles endured and victories won.
Jane Linkswiler, who is there and does “where she can” as only a
Jayne Blondt, who listen to a higher call and said I can help and
Alyce and Terry Johnson, friends who have been true and faithful over many a
valley and mountain path.
Andrew John Althaus, you are something special. Thank your Mom for sharing and giving me a
Dianne and Larry Matthews, who as adopted cousins stood strong and faithful
and loving over the years and never let me be anything but true family.
To Friends and Family, Pastors, and
fellow believers, who would
not and have not let me quit even when I wanted to finally just go home but
have held my hand, my heart, at times my mind, and my spirit and kept me going.
And to the family of Evangel Church
who have been so open and loving to the teenager in me as friendships and
relationships develop and grow and mature as you allowed me to share my heart.
I am truly grateful for all of you,
and thankful that you are in my life to help me be the best I can be.
And last, but certainly not least,
I’d like to say how deeply grateful I am for your support and
love. There are many that are not on this list and even others that have had
smaller roles but have never made it to be more
that I’ve never met, but you send me
notes from time to time to tell me how grateful your are for the books I write,
the coaching I do, and the opportunities to connect with you that are
meaningful. I cherish all of them. And for those of you who keep opening these
emails, you may not connect with me directly, although I invite you to do that
at any time, I would like to thank you for the blessings of your attention.
This Thanksgiving, ask your friends
and family what they are thankful for, and share in the wealth of their
gratitude. It is a joyous holiday, and I will be sharing it with my friends and
family as I take off a few days to rest and relax and recharge.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
If you have found this article
meaningful, don’t keep it to yourself. Send it along to a friend or a family
member that you are grateful for in your life. Tell them how grateful you are
to have them there, and then start that Gratitude Journal today. There is much
for all of us to be grateful for.