This week, many will gather with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving. Although it isn't a great time to be thinking about organizing, it is a good time to reflect on gratitude.
About twenty years ago, Oprah made a big push for her fans to start a gratitude journal. Every evening, Oprah suggested people write down five things for which they were grateful that day. After struggling at first to create this habit in my own schedule, it has become a regular practice. For me, it has reduced stress, changed my focus from one want of want and need to one of abundance. I sleep better, my overall health has improved, and I am generally more positive.
As a young family years ago, we created a "tree of thanksgiving." I simply painted those words on an old terra cotta pot, filled it with rocks, and stuck in a bare branch. The kids used crayons and paper, made rubbings of leaves from our yard, cut out the paper, punched holes in them, and strung them with yarn. Each night at dinner for a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, we'd take turns writing something on the leaves for which we were grateful, including our name and the date. This tree was our centerpiece for many weeks, and when it was time to replace it with Christmas decor, I saved the leaves in our memory box.
There are other ways to practice regular gratitude. One such clever way is through an app my husband and I enjoy called 10% Happier. It is free, takes minutes a day, and has great reminders to focus on the positive.
A friend of mine used to collect small, beautiful blank note cards, and would put one in each week of her planner. She made an effort every week to think of something positive about one of her friends or family members, which she'd write on a notecard and stick in the mail.
Our daughters' youth group does something called "Rose and Thorn." Each kid shares something they are grateful for (rose) and/or a concern (thorn), and they pray about them. Our girls have come home from church talking about how much closer and supported they feel about their peers.
Author and Netflix celebrity Marie Kondo urges us to be grateful for an object before passing it on. As an organizer, I've seen this work for many clients. It is a great way to let go of things that are carrying a load in our lives.
Being grateful can cause a significant change in your life. Take a moment, especially this time of year, to be grateful for all that you have.
Here at NEST Home LLC, I am grateful to you, my clients, followers, family, and friends. Happy Thanksgiving.