This week provides a welcome respite for many, as we put aside our daily troubles, gather with family and friends, and pause to give thanks for what we have and those who helped make it possible. It can come in the form a few words over a meal, a phone call or a prayer. All are valuable practices in gratitude. But often these moments can be fleeting and soon replaced by Black Friday sales, workouts, and holiday movies. If you’re looking for a more lasting way of giving thanks than I encourage you to try our new tool, “Who is your dream team? Simply put, it guides you through a series of quick prompts – about the family, friends, influences, places, work colleagues and other sources of inspiration that made your life possible. At the end, you’ll get a wonderful visualization of all the people who contributed to who you are today AND the opportunity to share it with them as a way of saying thanks. The importance of this last step is best captured in the words of Fred Rogers (aka Mister Rogers). “Whomever you’ve been thinking about... imagine how pleased they’d be to know that you recognize what a difference they’ve made in your becoming.” Taking the time to reflect on where we come from is central to how grateful we feel and our desire to be supportive of others. I hope you can find the time to name and thank your dream team this holiday weekend. You find a few quiet minutes to complete your own online or if prefer pencil and paper you can download what you need and even bring copies to Thanksgiving dinner to do it together with friends and family. This tool would not be possible without the generous support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas, the Foundation for the Carolinas, the PBS initiative Chasing the Dream and Sol Design. And I, of course, would not be possible without my own dream team – captured in this visual below. (A helpful note is that our dream team, like our life, is a work in progress. No doubt I've accidentally forgotten people (sorry!) and hopefully will have more names to add as I grow. It's not about the end product but the act of ongoing reflection). Happy Thanksgiving to you and everyone on your dream team.
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