I try to practice an “attitude of gratitude” every day, but mindfulness is something I think we all have to really work at to achieve consistently. I think that’s why I love that gratitude is the overall tone of November. It’s like a re-set button (much like New Year’s) for all our good intentions. Each calendar page is a shiny new opportunity to practice kindness and love.
As we approach the holiday season I’ve been thinking about different ways to keep up this mindfulness. When I was a teen, I kept a “thankfulness journal” on and off for years. I didn’t update all the time or even daily, but just seeing it on my bookcase every so often reminds me to count my blessings.
For the more tech-savvy, I love the website ThankfulFor.com, an online gratitude journal similar to Twitter. I especially appreciate their optional email nudges reminding me to log-in every few days. They just released their free iPhone app too, which I’m excited to try out.
One of the more longer-term projects I’ve been thinking about is which charity projects I want to work with for the holidays. Growing up, my mom was always very big on helping families with children at Christmas so Operation Christmas Child is one I really like. And after experiencing the frigid cold of Boston last winter, I’m thinking of organizing a coat drive or something similar for the homeless.
There really is something for everyone. Some of my favorite past projects involved letter-writing, sponsoring a family’s Thanksgiving meal, donating books for Reach out and Read, collecting toiletries for Lazarus House, and volunteering for Christmas in the City through Stonehill College. If you’re interested in joining in but don’t know where to start, this Forbes article is helpful for choosing a charity. Or is any of my projects piqued your interest, I’d love some help.
With lots of love and gratitude, thanks for reading.