Last week I was with a wonderful group of women coaching them on the “Art of Negotiation.” At the end of the session, they presented me with pink roses (my favorite), to let me know that the time we’ve spent together over the course of our sessions has mattered to them and made a difference in their lives. This gesture left my heart so full. I was taken aback by their thoughtfulness. They didn’t have to take the time to thank me, but they did. And a week later, I’m still thinking about it. That act of kindness made me feel seen. And because of that, I’m inspired to be an even better coach. We touch people with our gratitude.
Being grateful and noticing the good takes practice. We’re programmed to look for the bad so that we can protect ourselves and be safe. As we enter this week of Thanksgiving, I encourage you to flip that pattern. Look for the good. Release the bad. Make room for thankfulness.
This week I’m actively thinking about who and what I’m grateful for. My list is probably not so different than yours. It includes all of the obvious things like my family, my friends, my health, my home, my pet, and my career. When I go deeper, it includes the sobriety of those I love, the angel (Tanya) who changed the course of my life, my clients who bless me by trusting me to be a part of their lives, the deep and real female friendships that I have, the mighty work God has done within me to be the woman that I am today, my ability to speak at a public level, skills to write, entrepreneurship, not giving up on the people I love or myself, going after my dreams, my 91-year-old grandmother who I will get to share another Thanksgiving dinner with who encouraged me to write #AskGretchen, homemade pumpkin pie and, the very best cranberry sauce that anyone could ever make (thank you, Aunty Diana).
I’m also aware of the less obvious reasons to be grateful, like the things that hurt so badly they left a jagged scar across my heart. The trials I’ve faced, the turbulent childhood that was both bitter and sweet, the loss of loved ones, the pain of growth that comes from the core of the soul, the heartbreak and the blessings from the relationships that didn’t work out, and the messes I’ve created out of ego, that have brought me to my knees.
So, as we enter this week of gratitude and Thanksgiving, let your heart be full of the beauty that is. Take note of ALL of the parts that make up your story. Thank the people who have made a difference to you. Call them, send a letter, give them roses, do something. Flood them with gratitude. By doing so you will not only inspire them, you will also inspire yourself. The spirit of thankfulness is peaceful and light. It extinguishes darkness and gives hope. Couldn’t we all use more of that?
Sunshine and rain. Laughter and tears. Good and bad. Assets and defects. They’re the flipside of the same coin. The coin that makes me who I am. The coin that makes you who you are. Flip your coin. Heads or tails; what are you grateful for? Tell someone. It’s time to inspire.