So here we are. The season of gratitude. Thanksgiving.

We know gratitude:

  1. Enlarges us.
  2. Boosts our immune system.
  3. Connects us to beauty.
  4. Keeps us rooted in the present moment.
  5. Pushes away criticism and jealousy.
  6. Embraces the giver as well as the receiver.

How do we make our thank yous more than platitudes?

  1. Make it general. Don’t expect anything back.
    • Thank God or the earth. “Even after all this time the sun never say to the earth, “You Owe Me.” Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.” (Don’t know who said this.)
  2. Make it specific.
    • As the March Hare said, “Say what you mean.” Mean what you say.
  3. Find a tribe of gratitude givers.
    • on Facebook, Richard Paul Evans hosts a GratiTuesday (I’ve not read his books but met him at an event – super nice guy!)
  4. Give 7 hugs a day.
    • After a hug, we feel so warm and cuddly, then we’re able to say grateful things.
  5. Woke up today!
    • What else could we ask for?

Some of today’s thoughts were inspired from #spiritchat — a soulful Sunday morning Twitter chat about a spiritual topic. The tweets fly fast and furious. This morning, I couldn’t chat because I had to borrow a camera from a friend.

This is the second reporting/photography job I’ve had in a couple of weeks. (Am reporting on an East Village Korean church for the Interpreter magazine.)

So grateful for friends (and their generosity!)

I’m also grateful for:

  • twitter (social media) and #spiritchat
  • photography work
  • the sun warming me
  • the crunch of dead leaves beneath my feet
  • the warmth of hugs
  • my great health
  • my optimism
  • old and new friends

Check out the founder of spirit chat, Kumud Ajmani’s blog.

What are

New Orleans: Thank you message in the grotto o...
New Orleans: Thank you message in the grotto of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church; added by those for whom prayer or miracles were granted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



you grateful for?

Three Words

A couple of years ago, I spotted a sign in the trash. It was the same day I was thinking of making New Year’s resolutions. Maybe some wise people and shepherds see signs in the sky. I see them in the trash.

My sign read, “Become Your Dream.” And I have done this – by pursuing teaching, coaching, and writing work.


I also have looked for and found signs on social media.

I love social media – I love the short expressive forms of WordPress, Twitter, and Facebook. Status updates guide and inspire me.

In 2012, social media marketing guru Chris Brogan chose three guiding words: Temple, Untangle, Practice.

He meant:

  1. Treat your body like a temple.
  2. Untangle yourself from distractions.
  3. Practice mindfulness.

I want to do those three things too.

And for this pre-Christian season I want these three words: Simplify, Joy, Kindness.

I want to:

  1. Simplify my holiday by focusing on the things and experiences I love, like light, music, creativity, and time with family. And jettison clutter and consumerism.
  2. Give and receive light and joy to and from everyone I meet. And let go of judging.
  3. Practice kindness. Know that the Christmas season is stressful and so I vow to perform daily acts of kindness.

Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore the Lord will give you a sign.” Look for your sign. Look for your three words. They may be in the trash, the sky, or on Twitter. Let three simple words guide you through the holiday season and then through the New Year.

What are your three words?

I wrote this today for an upcoming Advent Devotional for the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist Church. 

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