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Giving Thanks

The Annual General Meeting is a time of reflecting and expressing gratitude.  This past year, FCCCND had the privilege to support nearly 2000 individuals from children to senior citizens on their journey towards healing and wholeness.  This would not have been possible without the variety of local and provincial funding we receive along with a team of dedicated staff and volunteers and most importantly our clients.

“Cherish every precious moment for you never know how quickly your life can change.”

These words are reinforced over and over again by the stories of tragedy and crisis that have struck my clients or loved ones over the years.  But this really hit home after attending a compelling workshop about supporting loved ones of homicide victims.  I found myself filled with sadness, outrage and gratitude as I listened to eight courageous individuals share their stories of loss and attempts at healing.

One of the most important practices I learned to combat worry about tomorrow was to focus on being grateful for the gift of today.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are some thoughts on the value of reflecting on our blessings and giving thanks:

  1. It is easy to take people and things in our life for granted.  We can get caught up in the daily pressures of life or our own agendas.  Slow down, assess your priorities and live according to your values.
  2. Let those in your support system know how touched you are by their generosity, understanding and simple presence.  But remember reciprocity does not always mean you have to pay them back or return the favour.  Share your unique talents or abilities or pay it forward.
  3. According to Dr. Sue Johnson, author of “Hold Me Tight”, Seven Conversations for a lifetime of love, loving connections are crucial to our survival.  Appreciations and affirmations are two necessary ingredients of relationships that meet our basic needs to belong and feel valued.
  4. Dr. Gottman, developer of the “Bringing Baby Home” Couples Workshop, emphasizes the importance of creating a “culture of appreciation” as one of the building blocks of a lasting relationship.  This includes telling our partners and children (as well as co-workers) thank you for the simplest things no matter how often or mundane the task.
  5. We can show someone we care by remembering special occasions like a birthday or sending a just because card, giftemail or text.  We often do not know the power of a passing comment or simple gesture.
  6. In challenging situations or relationships, look for the hidden gifts.  Ask yourself, “what can I learn from this conflict?”; “how can I change my life for the better?”  Life is constantly presenting us with important lessons and opportunities to grow.
  7. Modeling actions and attitudes that are respectful of nature and that promote conservation teach those around us that this earth is a precious gift we all have a responsibility to protecting.
  8. Some people choose to pray daily or weekly or reflect on sunset 1the beauty of a sunset or a blooming flower.  Writing an appreciation journal is often recommended for those struggling with depression and anxiety.  Look beyond a micro view of life to the greater whole that we are all a part of for daily inspiration.
  9. An essential way we can express our gratitude is by helping people in need.  Our agency struggles with “underfunded services, a shrinking donor dollar and an increasing demand for more support and services to individuals and families” (Bobbye Goldenberg, ED).  Why not reinvest in the people in your community and make a personal donation or on behalf of loved ones for unique holiday gifts this year?
  10. Finally thank you for reading and sharing these blogs.  I sincerely hope they have touched your life in some way.  For a deeper look at the Art of Appreciation, check out neuropsychologist Rick Hanson’s blog.

Keep the conversation going; join us on Facebook with your comments

NicoleNicole Oct 4, 2012


Published inRelationships