Recently, my family sat around the table with a scrumptious feast before us and all shared what we were grateful for. Many of the responses made me tear up, and the teenagers' responses made me crack up. But the whole Thanksgiving ritual reminded me of the power of gratitude.
Gratitude magnifies the energy of whatever you are focusing on, and tells the universe, "yes please, I want more of that!"
This is so simple, and yet so important to remember. Because the more you focus on gratitude, the more that thing or experience will be part of your life.
Let me give you an example. Years ago, my husband and I did foster care and had a sweet little boy in our care for almost a year. When he left our home we had to surrender our fears, worry, and lack of control and focus on our gratitude for the time we had shared together. And we were so grateful. That sweet child brought incredible joy and love into our lives. He was funny, and charming, and our first "baby." We could have focused on what was hard about the foster care experience, but we chose to focus on our deep thankfulness that we were given the opportunity to help nurture this little love for a short time. Our gratitude paid off in ways unimaginable.
You see, we said goodbye to him late summer 14 years ago, and that Thanksgiving we were told he was being adopted and would have a forever family. We were so grateful to that family we didn't even know! A few years later, that sweet family found us on Facebook, thanked us for the memory book we sent with their son, and asked if we would like to know how he was doing. I now get to watch that dear boy grow up surrounded by a loving family and treasured pets. They also send me photos from time to time. Seriously. Greatest gift a former foster parent could ever ask for.
And so as I gaze at my fridge which is covered with photos of my nieces and my sons and my friends' kids, and some goofy magnets, I also see photos of that dear sweet child who my husband and I were so grateful to help nurture all those years ago. Gratitude pays off big-time.
So remember, focus on the feeling of gratitude, and let the universe know you would like more of that, please! And that means, based on our recent Thanksgiving meal discussion, that I'll be having more cozy mornings in my pjs with a good book and cup of coffee in hand, and my teenager will have more time to play video games and eat mashed potatoes.