We have entered that time of year where expressing our gratitude is not only acceptable but almost expected.  It’s nice that we’ve set aside a season for tuning in to and expressing the heart’s appreciation for people, places and events.  No doubt many of you have already started the process of letting people know what and for whom you are grateful.  I wonder though, how many of you have taken the time to be grateful for yourself and the contributions that you have made to the lives of others.

We are taught that a sign of humility is to slough off our own accomplishments and good deeds, contributing quietly to the betterment of our society.  I believe that there is a significant difference between boasting and acknowledging.  If we don’t acknowledge the blessings we bring then we lose sight of who we are and of what is important to us.  We then get bogged down in the “shoulds,” “could haves” and “need tos” that are so draining.  We wonder why no one notices the contributions we do make and we begin to feel like what we do is never enough.

I would suggest that if we all take time to be grateful for ourselves and for our contributions then we won’t need so much validation from others.  I believe we will be more solid in our cores and we will be stronger in our convictions.  And if we can adequately appreciate ourselves then appreciating others takes no effort at all.

Your smile may have made the difference in the lives of many people but if you take it for granted then you are overlooking one of your best assets.  If you have the ability to easily say kind words and make someone feel better that is a gift that needs self-appreciation.  Perhaps you have the ability to see the big picture when others around you cannot — be grateful for that too.  Your hard work for your favorite charity might feel uplifting while you do it, but also take the time to love yourself for giving in this way.

I hope that you will take a few moments and write down why you are grateful for you!  If you feel comfortable, please give that gratitude a voice and share it here.

Happy Thanksgiving!


About Teri Johnson

I have been a life coach and meditation teacher since 1999. More importantly, for me, I have had the pleasure of being a mom for 20 years. But what really defines me is my passion for living an authentic life. I have a friend who calls me "Buddhist with and edge." I'm not a practicing Buddhist, but it sums up my approach to life quite nicely. Thank you for stopping by and ENJOY!
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2 Responses to Self-Gratitude

  1. Lori Peters says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for the invitation to share. What a day of reflection! I am grateful for having the strength and security to make an enormous life change and pursue a dream. Over the past 18 months, I have upheaved what was familiar and safe for 15 years, put my job on the line at a time when Todd was (and still is) self-employed, broken ties with some dear colleagues who regretfully couldn’t support my actions, and poured all my heart and soul into writing the vision for the school (and persisted even when trusted friends and family believed I might be making a big mistake). With a small, committed core, we put ourselves out for public redicule and media scrutiny, and became the center of debate. A difficult place for one who never has particularly liked conflict or debate. Some of us exhausted ourselves to the point of almost losing our sanity, but held one another up to greet the next challenge. Relationships were tested and sometimes strained. Some days started at 4:00 AM and ended 36 hours later! Weekends, holidays, family events…. So many personal days put on hold, so our core group could debate, prepare, respond, conference, or be at an event. Thanksgiving weekend last year was spent in a marathon conference call (Todd, Randy, Rose Ann, Laura, Melissa, and Laura) instead of with our family, in order to respond to numerous ridiculous demands of our district, while fully believing that no matter what we said, they’d deny us. But, what a miracle when the tide turned; it was uplifting! During this time I was enormously grateful for people like you, and for a husband who saw no limit with what I could do, and just kept telling me to keep going, to not hold back. (I am grateful that I had the presence of mind to marry him when I did!). Watching the school come together was/has been one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. I will never forget my 83 year old father finally walking into my classroom for the first time, and starting to cry with absolute joy, disbelief, and pride in his baby girl. He had seen me toil over my ideas (some non-conventional) for 15 years, and watched me come up against one frustrating road block after another. They would worry and question why I pushed myself so hard, and why I felt so personally responsible for things that seemed impossible to change, even resistant to it. But now, we are here. That my parents are both alive and well to see the school come true is such blessing. With my focus on education for so many years, I gave up the chance to have a child of my own, and instead helped give birth to BRIDGES. Like a village, we are so proud of this baby. With all this change, Todd and I added to the stress by moving into a beautiful home in October. I am grateful I’ve been able to learn quickly how to handle such a tremendous load of stressors. Today, for Thanksgiving, Todd and I will host 25 members of our family and extended family. It will the first time one of my brothers has ever seen a home I live in (another came in last night and was our first overnight guest). My first turkey, my first hosting of the big meal for so many, my first real housewarming, all amid a year of change. I am grateful for the respite today from work to focus on family, but will be just as ready in a day or so to have the opportunity to continue, with passion and gratitude, my work on the school. Aren’t we all so fortunate to share this journey? ……. With love, Lori

  2. Lori Peters says:

    Honorable mention above! My co-petitioner Jon Baker was also on that marathon Thanksgiving conference call. How could I forget? He’s been there every step of the way, and as a friend and esteemed partner in envisioning educational progress for many years before we started BRIDGES.

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