It’s November, the month of officially “giving thanks”, being grateful, and counting our blessings in the USA culminating in a grand “Feast” of epic proportions next Thursday. Since November 1st I have been listing in my journal at least one thing per day that I’m grateful for. I’ve tried to focus on thinking about the “little things” – i.e. stuff I totally take for granted – like “clean water”, “a toilet”, “the bus that takes me to work and saves me money on gasoline”, “my bed”, “my pink fuzzy slippers”, “singing really loud in the shower”, “my Grandmother’s hand-embroidered handkerchief”, “getting wet doggy kisses when I come home” (ok…none of those are even close to being little, right?). And, of course then there are all of the obvious “big things” to be thankful for (Family, God, Music…Satellite TV, Internet Access, Chocolate…).
As trite as it may sound, the more time I spend thinking of the good things about my life – my blessings – the more good I see around me, and the happier life becomes. The opposite also holds true. The more time I spend thinking about my trials, troubles, worries, problems, financial crises, bills, death, destruction, global turmoil…the heavier my burden feels. Life becomes overwhelming, even hopeless. It can even get to the point where the thought of getting out of bed and going through the motions of one more day is exhausting. I don’t mean to trivialize the problems of our life by saying “just think happy thoughts”. Depression, anxiety, heartbreak and grief is very real and needs to be treated with tender loving care. The things no one else knows or can see are always the hardest things to bear.
However, there is hope and happiness to be found in our life! Today, I’d like to offer a little activity that will provide a moment of respite, and a chance to get into the spirit of the season. It’s “Blessing Bucket” time! :)
A Blessing Bucket is my twist on the traditional “Bucket List” [made famous by a great movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman] where someone writes down all the dreams, wishes and accomplishments they hope to fulfill before they die. By contrast, your “Blessing Bucket List” is going to be a reminder of all the dreams, wishes, accomplishments, kindness, lessons, gifts, or any other cool “stuff” you have ALREADY GAINED during your lifetime!
CREATING YOUR BLESSING BUCKET
- Needed: Pen & Paper [nothing fancy required, but feel free to be creative] + 1 Timer set to 60 seconds.
- Think: “What am I grateful for?” …Ready…Set…Go!
- Write: Whatever comes to your mind first, write it down quick! NOTHING is too small, too large, too crazy, or too silly. ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is allowed on your Blessing Bucket list. [hey, it's YOURS, right?]
- Stop: OK, Times up! Take a look at your list.
- Bonus!: Got more to add? [well, of course you do] Go for it! Write it down!
- Keep: Place a copy of your Blessing Bucket somewhere you can see or access during the day. Feel free to add to your bucket as often as you like…but watch out, they tend to overflow! ;)
TaDa! So, how did you do? Feel a little better? Me too. Happy Blessings! – MoSop