It’s hard not to choose the word “Gratitude” the week of Thanksgiving. It’s a time of year that we are all tapped into thankfulness. It is my goal however, to encourage you to have a daily connection to the word gratitude. This word changed my life many years ago, but let me first tell you how that came to be. It first started with the word “love”.

I was struggling in a relationship at the time and was pausing to look at my part in our problems. I was asking myself if I loved this person and realized that there are two very different ways to experience the word “love”. We often think of love as a feeling, an emotion to be felt for something or someone else. But we often don’t think of love as a verb, an action required of us to create the feeling of love with and from another.

I believe the desire to love and be loved is universal, but like everything else in life, we get more as we give it. So, I began to look at how I was doing in that relationship as a giver of love. And when I stopped to evaluate that, everything began to shift. I started to focus more on doing the things that offered love, rather than hoping or expecting to feel loved by someone else.

When I started to explore the presence of gratitude in my life, I reflected on it in the same way I had years earlier when I did my work to become a more loving person. What would happen if rather than wanting to feel gratitude, I lived my life doing things that cultivated gratitude? And so for many years now, that is how I work to live my life.

Living with gratitude will look different for each of us, but the key is to pause and reflect on what that means to you.

Take Action:  I invite you this Thanksgiving to not only think about and share what you are grateful for, but also think about what you can do that will allow others and the world to feel gratitude for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!