Thanksgiving 2021 – A Surprising Lesson

As I am committed to being authentic I am sharing that I struggled today at the thought of writing this post! Things are a mess in Australia and we are under extreme totalitarian like conditions. I wondered how I could write a newsletter on gratitude!

So many of my friends are deeply distressed by the mandates and draconian rules – and no one can make plans because our state governments change the rules all the time. People are living in fear – fear generated from many different directions.

So I had to dig deep. Having said that – it didn’t take much effort to find things for which to be grateful!
But it was interesting because these last 2 years have made me re-evaluate everything.
I now treasure my freedom and my friends. I never thought of freedom before! But now, I understand what it means and how much I cherish it. 

My friends who love me no matter what that offer me support, love and kindness (as I want to do for them) are more cherished than ever. I would have lost the plot without them and their love.  A special thank you to My Mel and Kenny, Lorraine, Claire and Suzie, Gael and Gail, Karina and Ian, Laz and Alyce, Sonia – they have been saints putting up with me when I needed a lift! 

As a speaker, I have a somewhat iterant life! Or used to! I fly in, speak and fly out after a short time meeting some of you; or I write to an anonymous audience! So when someone takes the time to write to me and share how they have used the information it’s very special!

All of you who subscribe to my newsletter are treasured as well. So many of you have sent me beautiful emails sharing with me what you have taken from my presentations or writing and how you have used them in your lives and what differences they have made. I would really love to honour you and share with you what it means to me! I LOVE hearing that people have taught their children who then taught their children! (Yes – I have been speaking a long time LOL) I LOVE hearing how you have reduced your own stress levels and made other changes in your lives using some of my strategies. In general, I just love hearing from you! THANK YOU all of you! 

And also for the thousands of you that have stayed on my email list for years in many cases!

I am grateful for my clients who still ask me to present virtually – as presenting live is becoming less and less common in Australia. Because we have no idea if a conference will be allowed to go ahead! They are courageous and juggling incredible challenges to planning.

The beach is my place of peace and I am so deeply grateful that I can still get there and feel the sand on my feet and swim in the embrace of the ocean. 

My garden has been my sanctuary. I love my veggie garden coach! Yes – I have one! I had no idea how to manage a garden let alone grow vegg
ies! And now some of my greatest joys are baby tomatoes, zucchini, growing pomegranates and more! 
My gardenias remind me of the purity of light and their divine scent restores my soul! I savor them and their beauty and smell. They have brought me so much delight in the moment. Research has shown that savoringany positive experience enhances the positive impact it has. Be really present with it and appreciate every aspect – all the senses.

I am grateful that this whole experience we are going through has taught me the value of being present. I would have gone mad if I had dwelled on the chaos! It has been good training to discipline myself to be present with every person with whom I interact; with every experience; every phone call; and while watching videos! 

I am grateful I have a healthy body and can exercise every day – if I want to! I am grateful for my latin dance teachers – I would never has discovered Kizomba which I think is the best dance ever!! – for their patience for a much older woman than anyone else in the class! It does seem to me that there are lots of young people who can move their bodies in extraordinary ways! LOL 

As I am writing this – I am thinking of so many things for which I am grateful that I will have to stop because it will be too long! Who knew?! It shows you that once we start to look for something – start to focus on something – we can create it!

Check yourself to see what you are focusing on most of the time – is it uplifting or depressing? Are you looking for reasons to have fear or focusing on the beauty and goodness that is in the very present moment?

Perhaps the best lesson for myself from writing this is that I must remind myself to reintroduce my gratitude break strategy! I admit I have let that slip….so I am back to having many gratitude breaks during the day! No matter what appears to be happening, I can choose to focus on gratitude for my tomatoes or gardenias, the beach, my friends, a hug, a dance or something that will give me a break from the drama.

To all of my American family and friends, I LOVE your thanksgiving holiday – we don’t do it here but we should! Be present with your family , enjoy the freedom, the hugs, the laughter, the community  – all the ‘small’ things that matter more than anything material.

And once again, I am deeply grateful for all of you and your support and care!     

Amanda (& Mel) xx