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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! It’s a day where I focus on acknowledging the many blessings in my life and share a bountiful meal with family and friends. One of our rituals is that as we start to eat our Thanksgiving meal, everyone shares at least 1 thing (or person) for whom they are grateful. We have been known to go around the table multiple times throughout dinner. It’s a time filled with laughter and, sometimes, tears of gratitude.

This year is a poignant one for me. A very dear friend passed last year. We were friends for almost 40 years. His birthday often fell on Thanksgiving, which made it a double celebration. Even though I miss him greatly, I will concentrate on remembering the amazing experiences we shared. That’s what being thankful is all about. It doesn’t mean that everything is perfect or that you don’t experience pain or loss. It means that through it all, you acknowledge the good that exists in your life.

I am grateful for so many things. I have good relationships with my friends, family, and co-workers. I live in a time and a place where I am free to be who I am and my opportunities are vast. I am privileged that my career is in a field where I make a positive impact on people’s lives. Even with all of the work I do, I find time to exercise, meditate, read, play games, dance, go to cultural events, play with clay, and hang out with friends.

I also donate about 500 hours a year to volunteer projects. The AFMTE is the organization where I devote the majority of my volunteer time. I’m a founding member, have served on the Board of Directors for about 6 years, and am the current president. It’s an honor to be a part of this organization, and it’s a culmination of my journey: from practitioner (working with clients): to teacher (working with students); to author, coach, and trainer (working with practitioners); to working with the AFMTE on raising the educational standards of our profession.

I have a very full, wonderful life!

Please join me in my annual activity of reflecting on all of the things and people for whom you give thanks, and let those people know how you feel. Also, expand this to your practice. Perhaps you might include a personal note in your regular business communications with clients and business associates. You could even write something specific, such as, “Dear Client, I want you to know that I really appreciate how you follow through with the treatment plan we designed and that you do the stretching routine regularly.”

I would love to hear some of the ways you express your gratitude.

[Image courtesy of GraphicStock.com.]