Thanksgiving 2018

(While it took me over an hour to type all of this out, it literally took me the length of a shower to think these things.  I am mostly thankful for the daily habit and routine I have created of compiling a mental list of the things I am most thankful for in my life.  The paragraphs and sentences which are underlined are links to additional information pertaining to what is being written about, depending on whether or not you would like to dive deeper into the topic.)

Today, as I now choose to do every day while in the shower, immediately after I wake up, I reviewed the things I am most thankful for in my life.  I wanted to share that list with you:

I am thankful for the opportunity I will have today to go places and spend time with loved ones and family while we reconnect and eat good foods.

I am thankful for my family of origin-my mom and dad and my three sisters, who have spent a lifetime supporting me and loving me, even through times I didn’t feel worthy of their love, and even when I was completely incapable of loving myself.

I am thankful for my three sons and for the opportunity I have had to be their father.  I am thankful for their love, patience, and acceptance, as I have fumbled through a lifetime with them and done the best I could with what I have had.  I’m grateful for the many examples in my life and wisdom and knowledge shared by so many which has contributed to being a better father each day to these three boys.  I’m grateful for the bond and closeness we have, and for the opportunity each day brings to continue to strengthen our relationships, in any way, even though they are now older and doing their own things.

I am thankful for my wife and the incredible, loving, supportive, life and relationship we work hard to create and improve together, each and every day.  I am so thankful she is so strong and has experienced so much hardship and difficulty in this lifetime, which has made her even more beautiful and complete than if she had never experienced such things and had a much easier life.  I’m so thankful for the relationship she has with my children, her three amazing children, and our beautiful granddaughter.  I’m thankful that we can provide a home full of love and light and acceptance and kindness for all of our children to take part in and enjoy, every time they come over.  I’m thankful they all get along so well and treat each other with so much respect and love.  I am thankful for the love and respect our children give so freely and so abundantly to us.  I am especially thankful that our children work hard, every day, to take care of themselves and be self-sufficient, responsible, contributing members of society.  I’m thankful for the many reasons we have to be proud of our children and for the amazing lives they have created for themselves.  I’m especially thankful for the health and wealth they each enjoy, and for the mostly stress/problem-free lives we do all enjoy.

I’m thankful my wife is so wise.  I’m thankful she communicates so well with me and puts me in check and offers me an unlimited, truly appreciated, supply of perspective checks and reminders, each day, empowering me and helping me to work just a little harder every day to be a little better.

I’m thankful to be married to a woman who believes that throwing everything out on the table and being 100% and completely open, honest, transparent, and vulnerable, is beneficial and valuable.  I used to be so caught up in only revealing things that would make me seem better than I am so I could feel accepted and important to others, that I never realized the benefit of this.  I avoided the difficult, uncomfortable, conversations my whole life, whereas now, I realize the value of them all.  I’m thankful for a wife who has taught me so much through her example of BEING.  I am now able to be more, think more, say more, and do more.  I no longer avoid the uncomfortable or the difficult, but know that there is a beneficial purpose behind it all.

I am thankful for the healing that has taken place in my life.  I’m especially thankful for the physical healing which has transpired, in my back and in my brain.  I’m thankful that I have come across different diets, knowledge, wisdom, and medical research, which has taught me what I need to DO in order to help my body heal and to heal the discs between my vertebrae so I can walk and work again and support my family financially and feel like I am contributing instead of living the life of an unhealthy, incapable, victim of circumstance.  I’m incredibly thankful for the healing which has taken place in my brain, and that I was able to get off of all the “required” psychotropic medications that so many doctors prescribed to me over the years.  I’m grateful for the natural supplements and vitamins I learned about through others that these supplements have helped so much, and I am thankful for the healthier lifestyle I now live and the KETO lifestyle I have been able to experiment with and enjoy the HUGE benefits of.  

I am so thankful for the people I have been so blessed to know and connect with during this life experience.  It is because of their examples, inspiration, motivation, empowerment, caring attitudes, empathy, acceptance, and love, that I have been able to create a life so beautiful as the one I am now blessed to live.  I’m thankful to have heroes and mentors to look up to and model and mimic, in order to provide myself with an opportunity each day that I wake up, to improve the quality of my mind, and therefore improve the quality of my life.  I am thankful that as I learn how to do these things that I am able to contribute in any way to the lives of others.  I’m thankful for the belief that no matter how small the contribution, it is a step in the right direction.

I am thankful for the belief that EACH AND EVERY MOMENT DURING THIS LIFE EXPERIENCE, THE UNIVERSE IS CONSPIRING ON OUR BEHALF.  I realize that I may not always see how, but I have lived long enough on both sides of the track to now believe this to be true.

I am thankful for the exposure I have been blessed with to the heroes and mentors I have chosen to follow in every way possible.  I am thankful for the books that have been written and for the many avenues the internet has provided for self-improvement and self-development.  I know I am blessed to have awakened at this later stage in my life and been inspired by the Universe to choose the heroes and mentors I have chosen and to follow them on social media, in order to fill my mind and my life with their uplifting, empowering, incredibly helpful and inspiring, messages of the truth, light, and love that I want to focus on and re-focus upon each day.

I am incredibly thankful for the over-abundance in which we live because of where we live and who we are.  There are so many others in this world who will not have a very good or happy Thanksgiving this year because of their environment or circumstances.  It is my hope, wish, and prayer, that we will all look for opportunities this day and every day, recognize the opportunities we are presented with from the Universe, and take advantage of as many opportunities we possibly can to share this over-abundance with others in any way that we can.  We truly live in an over-abundance of food, things, love, empathy, and acceptance, when compared to so many others in this world.  I am thankful for the knowledge that no matter how bad I may think I have it, there are millions of people in this world that would do anything, give anything, just to have a taste of the beautiful life I am living every day.

I am thankful to have a job which enables me to afford the lifestyle I am now living.  I may be 46, and I may only make $15/hour, but the lifestyle I can afford, when compared to millions of others on this planet we inhabit, is abundant, lavish, and enjoyable.  I am so thankful to be blessed to earn this wage and to pay my taxes, and to be able to contribute to the betterment of others and this country by doing so.  I’m grateful to be someone, and to be in a position, where there is possibility for financial growth and contribution.

I’m thankful for the comfortable, warm, beautiful, bed we sleep in every night and for all the comforts we enjoy in a home we are so blessed to live in.  I am thankful for the ability we have to live in such comforts as warmth during the winter, cool air during the summer, a refrigerator always full of food, and running water.  We are so blessed.

I am thankful that we have more than one pair of shoes and a closet full of clothes to choose from each day.  There was a time in my life which lasted years when I was unable to buy new clothes or own more than one pair of shoes for myself or for my sons, but all the while, we always had every need met, and now I am thankful for the over-abundance of such things in our lives now.

I am thankful to have started completely over so many times with nothing.  I’m thankful to know that if I were to lose absolutely everything tomorrow, that I could easily start over and within a few, short years, have re-acquired everything I have now, because I have done this before.

I am thankful that I am thankful, grateful, positive, optimistic, and able to see the good in all things and in all people, after living a life of negativity, darkness, pessimism, criticism of myself and others, and hate.  I am thankful for the opportunity I have every day to practice the art of gratitude as a part of a daily routine or habit while in a shower in which I can use actual running water and items like a razor, soap, and shampoo.  I am thankful I am now able to realize and focus upon how blessed I am, rather than constantly focusing and re-focusing upon that which I do not have or enjoy, like I used to for the majority of my life, until that fateful day my dad gave me a copy of the book, The Secret, where I was, for the first time, truly introduced to practicing the art of gratitude and what the benefits could actually amount to over time.

I am thankful for this life and the opportunity for experiences and learning and progression and growth.  I am thankful for the opportunity for personal evolution and for the opportunity to inspire others to strive for the same.

I am especially thankful for Tim and Maggie Higgins and for the encouragement and empowerment they have provided me.  I am thankful for them allowing me to use space on their server for free to share with anyone in the world who wants to be a part of it.  I’m thankful that I have been able, at this late stage in life, to write and share content with others who may be searching for the answers I have been so blessed to come across during my searching.  I am thankful for such good, incredible, inspirational, strong, helpful, loving, kind, hard-working, contributing, giving, gracious, generous friends in my life.

I am thankful for the realization that there are so many incredible people who have learned tips, tricks, and tools, in life, that have helped them so much.  I’m thankful they share their knowledge and wisdom with the world, and that we are all able to compress decades of wisdom into a book, or video content, or little posts on the internet or on social media, in order to contribute to one another.

I am, more than anything else, thankful for all of the people I am so fortunate to choose to have and keep in my life, each and every day, in any way, who contribute to the beauty and joy and love I enjoy so much.  Thank you to those people, especially.

This is what I was able to run through my mind in the shower this morning.  I remember back, years ago, when I first tried the art of practicing gratitude.  As with everything, it gets progressively easier with practice.

The first time, I was done at being thankful for a place to live and to have my boys in my life.  Within two months, my mental list would last through my shower, eating breakfast, packing a lunch, and riding my bicycle six miles to work.  That which we focus upon tends to manifest itself in our lives more abundantly.  

So, again:

May your life be blessed with more than I am so blessed to enjoy and love.  I wish you all the best in your life journey.

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