Thursday, November 30, 2017



Begin again…
with a Grateful Heart

Joanne Fink

“I am grateful for what I am and have. 
My thanksgiving is perpetual.” 
Henry David Thoreau

As November comes to an end, and the Thanksgiving holidays fade into December, we need to take a moment to reflect on all we are grateful for. Many of us engage in the 30 days of gratitude on Facebook for November, but truly, Thanksgiving and being grateful should be a way of life…every day! On Giving Tuesday, I nervously shared on Modern Widows Club Facebook Live what it means to me to be a leader. I love serving YOU. That is why it is so important to me to serve as a MWC leader. Because I felt so called to be a leader for Modern Widows Club and was empowered by mentoring with the great minds and hearts of Carolyn Moor and Jodie Rodenbaugh and so many others, I have really raised my bar of perpetual gratitude for the awesome and amazing life I live now daily…It’s given me a great chance, a wonderful opportunity, to begin again and to create a new life, a life that I always had, but never knew was deep inside me. Meeting all the people, visiting wonderful places and working for MWC has given me great peace and a powerful new purpose I enjoy daily. I am grateful.

We are on a journey we never chose, a place we never wanted to go to, a club no one wants to join… except I love my new life. I do. I’ve met you and you warm my heart. You encourage me, you inspire me, and you empower me. I have seen the power of transformational change. In me…and in you. We are not the women we were the day we said: “I do”. We are not the women we were the day they said “He died.” and we have a brand-new life now that allows us to experience things we never knew…. Knowing you and watching you grow – to see your heart reach and your mind expand, has made my life all the richer. And I am grateful – grateful for YOU!

Our Houston Chapter Co-Leader, Dr. Flavia Horth, always tells us to wake up and put your smile on!   After Kevin died, I threw myself into studying what helps people move forward. I read Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, and so many others, to learn more about change. As a result of my personal study, I obtained the advanced certification in Prosci, the science of the people side of change and became a Change Leader for my company. One of the key ingredients of change is adopting an attitude of gratitude. Last month we talked about using gratitude journals and really taking a few minutes at the end of each day to focus on a few things you are grateful for. It helps you heal. Brene Brown, Jen Sincero and many many more encourage this activity. There is real value in being grateful. It helps us begin again… This chart by Amit Amin illustrates some of the benefits of Gratitude:

The Benefits of Gratitude by Amit Amin

To see how you rate, you may want to take his Quiz! http://happierhuman.com/how-grateful-are-you/.

A big part of Gratitude is being thankful for where you are and how you are right now!

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.”

Here in Houston so many of us are still living in survival mode post Harvey. In so many ways we are learning to begin again, as we do when we become widows. Beginning again is painful – there is both grief and growth, but in the end, we get to become all we were born to become. As November slips into December, take some time to hold on to your gratefulness and carry it with you wherever you go. Know that you are never alone on this journey. Together we thrive. Keep gratitude in your heart and life and let it help light your way…as you begin again.


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