November is upon us and many of us think about “giving thanks” this month. At Thanksgiving, we often share what we are thankful for – perhaps we ask family members to share one thing they are grateful for, maybe we have a tree with cut-out leaves where we record our gratitude. Remembering and focusing on our many blessings can help us gain a positive perspective when we experience life challenges.
As we get closer to Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2015, I challenge you to take time on this special day to say “Thank You” to a veteran. Maybe someone in your family serves or served in the military. Perhaps a family member who has passed on served. My father proudly served in the Navy during World War II. My oldest sister was born while he was overseas and he met her for the first time when she was 3 years old. Other family members who have served include my brother-in-law, Butch who served in the Air Force, my father-in-law, Carl who flew a B-24 bomber in WWII, my nephew, Josh who served in the Coast Guard and my son-in-law, John who currently serves in the Navy.
Did you know that Veteran’s Day has been honored for nearly 100 years? According to the Veterans.gov website, in 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11th as a legal holiday, with Americans being encouraged to celebrate and honor American’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
I recently had the opportunity to visit The Lima Company Memorial, The Eyes of Freedom display. I was humbled and saddened by the story of the twenty-two military members who died in service to their country while being deployed in Iraq. One of the service men came from my home town and I remember ten years ago going to the funeral visitation with my daughter. This amazing memorial is a beautiful portrayal of the Lima Company and their story. Visit their website to learn more about their story.
Being grateful is beneficial to you and those around you. Not only will you experience positive emotions from showing your gratitude, but according to WebMD, you may develop resilience that helps you reduce your stress and refocus negative energy into positive energy.
Want to learn more? Professional and enlightening recordings of heart-centered practices can be downloaded by visiting Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Integrative Medicine Services website. Patrice Rancour, MS, RN, PMHCNS-BC has several gratitude recordings that you can download.
So . . . I challenge you to give thanks for those who have served in our military and for your many blessings. Call, write a letter, text, or post on a social media site a “Thank You” to our military. Start your personal gratitude journal. Simply write down three things that you are grateful for – every day. See if practicing gratitude makes a positive difference in your life.