A Reflection on Thankfulness

Journal | October 5, 2018


I am thankful for a day that reminds me to stop and count my blessings.

Thankfulness, gratitude, appreciation, gratefulness, hopeful, gladsome, light hearted, upbeat….

These words are all synonymous with thankfulness. I look at those words and realize that I am blessed with many people around me that emulate those characteristics. Did they just land on the sunny side of life or have they made conscious decisions along the way to remain positive and optimistic? I know the answer is layered and complicated but please allow me to share my thoughts.

Richard Rohr shares some research in one of his recent blogs on the topic of positivity and negativity.

“Our negative and critical thoughts are like Velcro, they stick and hold; whereas our positive and joyful thoughts are like Teflon, they slide away. We have to deliberately choose to hold onto positive thoughts so that they can “imprint.” Observing my own habits of thought and in counseling others I see this to be profoundly true. The implications are enormous for individuals and for society.

Neuroscience can now demonstrate the brain indeed has a negative bias; the brain prefers to constellate around fearful, negative, or problematic situations. In fact, when a loving, positive, or unproblematic thing comes your way, you have to savor it consciously for at least fifteen seconds before it can harbor and store itself in your “implicit memory;” otherwise it doesn’t stick. We must indeed savor the good in order to significantly change our regular attitudes and moods. And we need to strictly monitor all the “Velcro” negative thoughts.”

This research is full of hope. All of us can train our brains to be more positive, hopeful and optimistic. Daily looking at the things we are grateful for is a start. Retraining our brains when we experience fear that is “sticking like Velcro” is another practice.

The top three on my gratitude list:

  1. So very thankful to be surrounded by people who have a mindset that embraces growth. A way of thinking that is life giving. Thinking that opens doors rather than closing them.
  2. I am filled with gratitude for health and energy which has allowed me to live my best life.
  3. I am so very appreciative to you; our loyal and supportive customer. The support and encouragement I have received over the years has allowed Pineridge Hollow to thrive and grow. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!