“Authentic, captivating, thought-provoking! Angela Howell’s insights remind the reader that in every life experience there is a gift waiting to be found … if we only dare to look deeper.” —Rachel Martinez, Certified Addiction Counselor

Hello FTG Friends! Happy (almost) Thanksgiving! I hope each of you have a special time planned to celebrate with good food among great family and friends.

I have a question for you to consider as we enter into this season of thanksgiving. If you were to receive a “Finding the Gift” report card, would you get an A? How well are you able to look at a situation and find the gift, instead of the problem? I read a story once about Benjamin Franklin. Apparently he had a habit of finding fault and when he was strongly confronted by someone he respected, he vowed to never complain again. Oh, if only it were that easy! With practice, however, it does become easier to ask, “What’s the gift in this?” versus, “Why did this happen?”

Gratitude is a habit of the mind and with regular use, it can become an automatic response to life. When I experience disappointment, for example, I choose to believe I will find a gift (as long as I’m willing to look for it). Maybe what appears to be a setback is actually some form of protection? Something to keep me from going down a particular path, which ultimately won’t be in my best interest? Maybe I’ll never know why certain events transpired, but I always have a choice in how I perceive what life brings my way. I can choose to believe things are working for my good, or I can get caught up in frustration. Faith feels  better to me so I don’t let myself wallow too long in how I wish things were. Instead, I begin finding the gift in how things are.

Jumping ahead in my book, Finding the Gift: Daily Meditations for Mindfulness, I will leave you with an upcoming entry on gratitude. I sincerely wish you the best Thanksgiving ever, abundant with gifts given, received and observed.

November 26: A Daily Gratitude Practice

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
~ Oprah Winfrey ~

November is the perfect time of year to focus on being thankful: good health, relationships, friends and family, our jobs, our homes, and our freedom. Many of us can count some or all of these as blessings in our lives. What else? What else are you truly grateful for? Look around. Listen. Feel. Take stock of everything you have appreciation for. Holding gratitude in your heart attracts even more good to come your way. Count your blessings often. For extra benefit, make a daily gratitude journal, listing at least five new things every morning or night.

In addition to what’s noted above, I am deeply grateful for nature, music, role models, reverse role models (who teach me what NOT to do), nature seasons, thick fuzzy blankets and socks, fast cars, adventure, adversity (without adversity, personal growth is much slower), my furry loved ones, sidewalks, hot baths, dark chocolate, apple cider, boots, things that sparkle, laughter and piano music filling my home, and much, much more! For a real challenge, make a list of all the people, places and things you are grateful for. Do this alone or with a group. When you run out of things to write, go through the letters of the alphabet to jog your memory some more. Keep this list and your daily gratitude journal handy for rereading frequently. Turkey hunters practice making turkey calls to attract birds to come their way. Practice using gratitude to attract more goodness to come your way. Cheers!

P.S. If you have a Finding the Gift story, I want to hear it and so does the rest of our FTG community! Please send me a message. Not an FTG member? Look for the orange box to the right and sign up! I’ll send you a free eBook immediately, Ten Secrets to Finding the Gift!