Published monthly by Sharon Eakes, Hope Unlimited, LLC
FOCUS: Invitation to Thanksgiving
Disciplines: Mental Models, Systems Thinking

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the
parent of all others."


No, this is not an invitation to my home for Thanksgiving (though the idea makes me smile). This year I wanted to approach the whole idea of giving thanks in a new way. I wondered how it would be to pay attention, for a whole day, to what I was thankful for.

So I tried it and the results surprised me. I was thankful for odd things, like the quality of morning silence and the closure I felt as all the leaves blew off the trees out my window. I was thankful for the sense of neighborhood I felt hearing the lively sound of kids playing in our street. I was thankful to Tim Gallway for his stimulating concepts in the book I was reading, The Inner Game of Work. I was thankful for things as big and intangible as my love for my husband and as small and concrete as the quilt on my bed.

Most surprising was the way I felt at the end of my day of thanksgiving. I felt profoundly peaceful, more peaceful than I have felt in a long time. I was so taken with this experiment that I did it a second day, and a third. Each day was different, but the end result - feeling peaceful - was the same.

Accept my thanksgiving invitation. Commit yourself to noticing, for one entire day, everything you are thankful for. Include people and things, feelings and experiences. Pay attention to how you feel at the end of the day. Maybe you will like the results so much that you will want to make it more than a one-day experiment.

This month instead of a telegathering, I'd like to ask you to send me an e-mail of your experience, if you accept the above invitation to thanksgiving. Tell me both some of the things you found yourself thankful for and how you felt at days' end. Know also that I am thankful to you, my many responsive readers.

Last month I recommended Marilyn Paul's excellent book, It's Hard to Make a Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys, the seven-step path to becoming truly organized, by Marilyn Paul, Ph.D. Marilyn
e-mailed me, inviting readers to download the first chapter of her book from her website,
Reach me: 1-888-907-HOPE (4673) or e-mail I am a personal and professional coach and would be happy to offer you a complimentary phone session.

Each month FRESH VIEWS focuses on a single topic, relates it to one of the five disciplines of a learning community, and offers a coaching tip and a follow-up telegathering. Please forward it to friends and colleagues. My purpose in writing FRESH VIEWS is to nurture, prod and encourage readers to think and talk about these topics with their families, friends and colleagues. Mine is only one view. Multiple conversations may deliver us to insights only hinted at here. Such a process sustains the vitality of learning relationships, learning families, learning organizations and learning communities.

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