Friday Focus: Feeling Thankful at Thanksgiving

November 17, 2007 at 11:17 pm | Posted in dads, Families, Focused Fridays, Holidays, Mothers, relationships, Self Esteem, siblings, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Welcome to our first weekly Focused Friday! 

It is indeed Saturday, but we wanted to dig through the email box and find a question that related to our subject this week:  Thanfulness!  If you have a question that you would like addressed on our Friday Focus (we never use names!), then please feel free to email me at

Friday Focus Question:

I have a sister and mom who have a very perfectionist and product oriented life style.  I love them both dearly and do have a great time when I am with them.  And I can appreciate the precision and beauty of how they do things, but I don’t feel it necessary to try to BE that myself.  But during the holidays especially, I feel trapped to be someone different from myself.  And this Thanksgiving I would really like to celebrate the things we as a family are thankful for rather than have the house and meal be the focal points.

GEM Answer: 

As you prepare for this holiday I have two skills that I will help release you from your perfectionist and product oriented trap. 

  • Each time you are aware of yourself trying to be like your sister and mother, rather than beat yourself up about not being like them, say or think, “I am thankful that I have these two wonderful people in my life.” 

This is a positive thought.  There is no trying to be like them in this thought.  As a matter of fact there is no “trying to be” in this thought.  You exchange your trapped feeling with this gentle open feeling of gratitudeNew studies and age-old wisdom show that it is impossible to have two different thought happening at the same time.  So by replacing the trapped feeling with a feeling of thanks you not only symbolically, but you literally, rid yourself of the trapped feeling.

  • The next thing is to share with your family that you are making a change in how you celebrate Thanksgiving.  For this you can say, “This year I will be celebrating my family’s thankfulness and emphasizing that over everything else.  We will be having a Thanksgiving Tree (see Wed blog entry) and I hope you can bring your thankful thoughts to share with us.” Of course let them know what the Thanksgiving Tree is and how it works.  If you are traveling to them start your tree now and just roll it up to bring along with you.

In this example you are telling others about the change you are making.  Often when people want to do things differently they are a bit shy or apprehensive about doing it.  In other words they are waffling.  If you waffle you will be neither where you were nor where you want to be.  And this state of ambivalence causes more stress than almost anything else.  Once you have stated out loud or written your change you have begun to turn the desire into reality.

With your Thanksgiving trap YOU can open the door and be free. 

Also, don’t forget:  Preview of the first Thoughtful Thursday audio release at “Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday.”

Get your copy of “Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday” today and start to feel thankful for the blessings of Thanksgiving again!

Children and Family


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