Years ago at a presentations skills program I attended, my mentor, Glenna Salsbury, instructed us to do the “What If Tomorrow It Is Gone” exercise. The exercise is rather simple: “What if you woke up tomorrow and everything you failed to be grateful for today was gone?” Think about this for a few moments.
Answers can range from the people you love, to your material possessions, to the foods you enjoy, to the outdoors and nature, to your spirit guides, and to the practicalities we take for granted such as clean water and heat. It can also include the special people who maybe you aren’t particularly close to, but who you enjoy, like the smiley clerk at CVS or the UPS driver who always waves. Don’t forget your wonderful pets and your friends’ pets too!
I have been doing this exercise for years. When I am with a troubled group, I think about all the people in the group who contributed and added value to the day. When I feel sick, I think about the parts of my body that are well. It’s a great exercise to fall asleep to or to take a walk with.
And it works in a group very well. You can do it for hours. Do you love the Thanksgiving souffle? How about the eggs that went into it? And the chickens that produced the eggs? And the farm that raised the chickens, and the truck driver who transported the eggs, and the grocery store that sold the eggs, and the cook who shared the recipe?
As I said, this exercise is endless. Have fun with it and remember that you can never be too grateful.
This Thanksgiving, as I coordinate flights, find a fresh tablecloth, and prepare for a few days of non-work, I turn my thoughts to you. I am grateful for my readers – to those of you who have passed through my life and have honored me by reading my blog, and to those of you who are still an active part of my life. Thank you all for being a part of the circle that is my life.