Monday, November 25, 2013

Living in Thanksgiving - Expressing Gratitude

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.                                                          --Albert Schweitzer

I love this quote! I have been thinking a lot lately about people who have rekindled a spark within me when I needed it most, or who have made some small gesture that meant the world to me. I don't know that I ever tell them thank you. 

"... a thank you note is a mini-dose of a full-blown gratitude letter or gratitude journal.  It is also an opportunity to flex your gratitude strength— a chance to practice one of the strengths of transcendence."  

We exercise other muscles to grow stronger, so why not exercise your gratitude strength as well? This week in my month of Living in Thanksgiving, I am focusing on expressing gratitude. Make it a habit to sincerely thank people who do something for you. Often, a verbal thank you in the moment will suffice. But written notes are effective, too. One thing I have learned about writing thank you notes is that when I stop and think through what the person has done for me, and how much I appreciate it, it lifts me. So in some ways, writing thank you notes is self-serving...a way to elevate yourself. Now, I can procrastinate thank you notes with the best of them, but this week I am going to be better about written thank yous. 

Remember to tell the gift-giver that you are thankful not only for the gift, but also for their thinking of you.  Make it personal and sincere.  Tell them how you are looking forward to experiencing their gift.  Even if you don’t love the gift, there are other ways to let them know you appreciate the thought.  In these tough economic times, acknowledge their generosity.  Let them know that you look forward to seeing them again soon.  Mind them, make them feel important and loved.  In giving you the gift, they made you feel special.
You can, and should, return the favor.
Think of those who have been examples to you, who have supported you in times of trouble, or who have rekindled your "spark" when you needed it. I have been reflecting on some of these people all week, and now I have some thank you notes to write!  Enjoy basking in gratitude this week!

Living in Thanksgiving - How Grateful Are You?

Living in Thanksgiving - Perception and Gratitude
Living in Thanksgiving - Gratitude Journals, Yes or No?
The Art of Living in Thanksgiving 


  1. Great post. I especially love the quote!

    1. Thanks, Lark! I appreciate you stopping by.

  2. That's something I need to remember to do more often. Great reminder.

    1. Thanks, Greg. I had fun focusing on gratitude this month because I needed to improve...and writing those thank you notes ended up being a really positive experience for me. Good luck!