November 23, 2006

Giving Thanks and Giving to Others
This time of year we celebrate the bountiful gifts of the fall harvest by gathering to share love, great food, conversation, and even a game of football. It is a special time that we give thanks for all the many gifts we receive – family, good health, abundant food, friends, jobs and time together with loved ones. Our family has a Thanksgiving tradition of expressing what we are thankful for while sitting down to our feast. We also have a blank sheet placed across the table that we draw, write or just sign our names in markers giving thanks. The sheet is a memento of the day.

As many of you travel to visit loved ones or prepare for your upcoming feast, I want to take a few moments to express my appreciation to you, and wish you a happy Thanksgiving. I'm so grateful for your part in receiving my monthly ezine gift. The purpose of the ezine is to share my insight, stories, resources and offer tools that help guide you on your journey through life. Often, I receive comments about how a particular article increased someone's awareness, or how it inspired them to take the next step. It brings me great joy to receive your feedback – thank you so much.

In addition to being thankful for the opportunity to share my wisdom with you, I am grateful for my creativity, the beautiful Colorado weather, a warm place to live, and the support of my husband, family and friends. Every day, I am grateful for just being alive, and the abundance in my life. Throughout the year, not just at Thanksgiving, my usual mealtime prayer is: I am thankful for all that I have, all that I give, and all that I receive. This meal is blessed. This brings me to a very special story.

This story is about a couple in Boluxi, Mississippi that were so grateful for the gift they received more than a year after hurricane Katrina. Recently, the Kirk of Bonnie Brae UCC in Denver, Colorado organized a group to travel to Boluxi to help rebuild the couple's home that was destroyed in the hurricane. The home's shell was intact, but the interior was unlivable, and had to be gutted. The displaced couple lived in a trailer, while the volunteers came to reconstruct their home. The Kirk group was one of many groups from all over the country that went to Boluxi. Even though the home was not finished during the groups' stay, the couple was so grateful for the work that was done – bringing them closer to moving back into their home. The generosity of this group touches my heart deeply.

All over the world, people give freely gifts to loved ones, as well as, gifts of time, food, materials, energy, expertise and money to help people in crisis. With the holiday season fast approaching, please consider giving alternative, thoughtful, heartfelt gifts that reach out to others in need. Why not give presents this holiday season to honor your family and friends that also build peace in our global village, and help protect our endangered planet. Alternative gift giving will bring you great joy and satisfaction. It's easy, here's how!

Visit the Alternative Gifts International website, and read about the nonprofit agencies that support people in need. Select a group of interest to you that you'd like to support – give as little or as much as you'd like in honor of your family and friends. In doing this, you will help empower people in crisis, and help protect our planet. I thank you in advance for giving from your heart alternatively this holiday season.

Again, I appreciate you, and I am thankful for all that I have, all that I give, and all that I receive. I am blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Belen Carmichael, NLC
Life Coach

Coming in December, my audio book A Woman's Guide to Her Inner Evolution. Visit the website in late December or contact me for your copy.

Interested in group coaching and live in the Denver, Colorado area? See the Events page on the website for information about the Building Stability Group for Women Business Owners and the Women's Soup Night.

Copyright 2006, INNERGY Coaching, LLC - Belen Carmichael
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Wellness Within is published monthly by Belen Carmichael of INNERGY Coaching, providing life coaching, nutrition and lifestyle coaching and personal training to women business owners.
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