Giving Thanks for Heat
In my new book, No Regrets Living – 7 Keys to a Life of Wonder and Contentment, one of the “keys” I suggest is to take a few dedicated moments each day to reflect on what you are grateful for in your life. I guarantee you will surprise yourself at the length of your list. These moments are a chance to pause in the midst of a day’s chaos and choreography to focus on the positive, to recall the good things in your life. In my reflections, I say thanks for everything that happened during that day, that week, and all the times before. I say thanks for something that just happened a few minutes or hours before. It stuns me how much new in my life there is to be grateful for each day—and through those moments of reflection I’m able to slow down long enough to appreciate, quietly express that appreciation, and put life’s disappointments and regrets into perspective. Regrets recall the negative, circumstances we wish could have been different, the “if onlys”. But this daily reflection is one of gratitude for all that’s right and good in life. Even on bad days, there are silver linings that comfort me when I recognize them. Without those brief pauses of gratitude, I find myself taking things for granted.
It’s been a while since I expressed gratitude for heat. This week, much of the country is experiencing a “polar plunge,” or “bomb cyclone,” with temperatures dropping dramatically into deep negative territory, often within a few hours. Here in Denver we went from a balmy 50 degree afternoon to a life-threatening minus 50 degrees below zero (with the wind chill) night. While only a temporary inconvenience for many, today I understand even more the desperation that devastating cold brings to many who are experiencing homelessness and poverty. Gratitude for the good things in our lives naturally elicits hopes and prayers for those not as fortunate. But hopes and prayers are not enough.
This arctic-like week will pass and, for most of us, we’ll return to our more typical winter weather lifestyle. But the “polar plunge/bomb cyclone” should be a call to action for us to not just reflect on those without heat and comfortable homes, but to do something about it. We can turn our empathy into activism. The world needs us to become activists for the causes most important to us. Activism requires us to become knowledgeable enough about our “hot button” issues to know what kind of help is most needed, to provide that help, and to spread the word to others. The environment, homelessness, and poverty would be appropriate “hot button” (pun intended) issues to devote our energies to as a response to the frigid few hours we are experiencing this week in our comfortable, heated homes.
WARM Holiday Wishes to all!