[Two years ago we enjoyed this post on gratitude, and au pairs. Since there are so many new and different readers of the blog now, that I thought I’d post it again. Following up this post is a chance to reflect what you’re thankful and grateful for in your host family- au pair relationship. cv]
With Thanksgiving upon us, opening up the holiday season, all of us host moms & dads have a chance to be thankful about what our children and our au pairs bring into our lives.
Part of the reason I think that having an au pair can be so great is that it asks us to open up our families and to share our lives with others, in a unique way. We have to consider our values and priorities, translate these for someone from another culture, consider their personal and cultural values, manage the constant balance between employee and family, and collaborate together to support our children, our au pair, ourselves, and our community.
Thanksgiving gives us a (pretty obvious) opportunity to reflect on what having an au pair is bringing to our families, and how strengthening our relationships between our selves, our au pairs and our children can benefit all of us. Whether your relationship is more functional or more familial, whether you feel frustrated or delighted more often than not, there’s something good going on or your wouldn’t be in this relationship.
Take a moment to reflect on all of this, and to share your gratitude with your family and your au pair. (It’s okay to give yourself a pat on the back too, parents.)
Folks enjoyed the article by Christine Kane that I shared a few months ago, and here is another one about Thanksgiving. It’s always a treat to find something well-written and insightful, and since Christine encourages her readers to share her posts in toto, I’m happy to send it along to you. Happy Thanksgiving!
Why Gratitude Makes You Happy and Wealthy
by Christine Kane
Gratitude is more than being thankful one day a year. Gratitude is a practice. For some, it’s a way of life.
Why do some people swear by the practice of gratitude? Why do these people have joy-filled and abundant lives?
In other words, why does gratitude make you happy and wealthy?
• Because gratitude is about presence.
It’s about waking up in this moment and being here – really being here – and noticing what’s around you. Most people are so busy thinking about the next thing, or about their horrid past, that they don’t wake up and look around at their present moment – the only moment there is.
• Because gratitude is about honoring YOUR precious life.
Do you ever compare your life with someone else’s? Do you ever wish your life were better and more like [insert famous person’s name here]? Sometimes we can lose ourselves in wondering how we “measure up” to some standard set by our families or by the media. Comparison is the mind killer. The antidote is gratitude.
Gratitude requires that you validate your own life. (And you really don’t have any other life, do
you?) It forces you to say YES to the gift that is you. The choices you’ve made and the changes you’ve gone through – they have brought you here. Even if here is a place that needs a little adjustment, that’s okay. There are always gifts in any present moment.
• Because gratitude is about attracting.
It’s difficult to attract abundance and joy if you are constantly saying “no” to what IS. You say “no” each time you focus on the future or past, or when you criticize something that is in your present moment.
Attraction is about saying Yes. When you say Yes, you shift.
Gratitude says, “Yes, I love this!” And then more of this is attracted, because the this is what you’re focusing on.
• Because gratitude is about choice.
How you translate any situation is the situation. What you choose to see is the truth (for you).
This isn’t proposing that you live in denial or phoniness. It’s reminding you that your translation of any life situation is your choice. We’ve all heard stories of people who have ignored others’ translations of their talent, their projects, their art, their looks, their lives. These people chose their own translations and succeeded. You always have a choice when it comes to how you look at things. Choose to choose gratitude.
• Because gratitude is about wisdom.
I think people believe they’re being smart if they criticize, complain, and focus on the problems of the world around them.
But not wise.
It is wise to look for and find the knowing place in your heart. It is wise to choose joy. It is wise to honor your riches. It is wise to focus on and grow the blessings of your life.
• Because gratitude is about recognition.
Use your power of focus to hone in on beauty and on what makes your heart sing. Recognize the spirit in your life. It’s all around you waiting to be noticed. In the words of Franz Kafka, “It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
• Because gratitude is about receptivity.
Gratitude makes you receptive. It makes you a vessel, waiting to be filled.
I carry a tiny notebook with me everywhere I go. In it, I write down song ideas. I write down quotes I hear. I write down ideas for stage stories. As I do that, I become more receptive, and more ideas and songs come to me. It’s a tool that says to my subconscious, “Send more my way!” And the subconscious always responds.
Gratitude is the same way. It says, “I am receptive! Send more!” And more arrives.
• Because gratitude is about creativity.
Creativity is really all about attention. (So is genius.)
When I write a song, I build a relationship with that song. I spend time with it. I get to know it. I pay attention to it. Artists do the same thing with drawings. They spend time in rapt attention, and the drawing is born.
Gratitude is how we Live Creative. It is a creative act to notice and pay attention to the moments of your life. Some days it’s an enormous act of creativity to find things for which to be thankful.
And have a Thanksgiving of presence, creativity, and gratitude! [Thanks Christine!]
Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her ‘LiveCreative’ weekly ezine with more than 8,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at www.christinekane.com.