Publisher - November 2017

Pub0617The miracle of gratitude is it shifts your perspective to such an extent that it changes the world you see.
— Dr. Robert Holden-

My sister, Martha, painted the rise (fronts) of the stairs leading down to the lower level of her home with chalkboard paint. When I was at her house over the summer, as I walked up the stairs, each step had a few words written in chalk, which formed this question: What if you woke up tomorrow with only what you thanked God for today?

This question halted me to a dead stop. I pondered it, and in doing so, realized how amazingly blessed I am. I felt the power of gratitude fill my spirit, but it also jarred me. Suddenly, things I usually take for granted were running through my head: Things like the sofa, the shower, the stove and my bed. I love my fluffy white down comforter and my cushy pillows. I love my books. I thought how fortunate I was to have so many books. I love my shoes, my dresses (especially the red one) and the mirror that magnifies things. I even love the Victoria’s Secret, blue floral, light cotton bathrobe I bought almost 30 years ago and still have no desire for a new robe. I recounted so many things I had not been thankful for in a very long time—at least not consciously—and maybe never.

Being thankful is both a powerful state of mind and way of life. Gratitude has been scientifically proven to have numerous benefits, such as sleeping better, improving relationships, reducing anger, increasing self-confidence and fostering resilience, to name a few. However, without scientific evidence, I have discovered that gratitude actually is the key to happiness—the Holy Grail.

The bottom line is gratitude and bitterness cannot exist in the same thought. Neither can gratitude and jealousy, disappointment, resentment or greed. How powerful is it to know that when you choose gratitude, you are ousting gratitude’s nemeses. On the flip side, when you mope, regret, wallow, stew, envy, or seethe, gratitude has no choice but to desert your head and heart, which isn’t good because gratitude has friends you want to hang out with. Not to name drop, but gratitude’s posse includes hope, happiness, confidence, resilience, fulfillment, success and satisfaction, to name a few.

Satisfaction is a big word, which offers up a tall order—an A-lister that can fill emptiness to the brim and provide complete contentment. Satisfaction is the Master Shifu of the “cup runneth over” theory. I have to ask: When is the last time you were satisfied? Has that word even entered your mind in the last year? Just imagine if you were satisfied with your house, your body, your car, and your job how completely you would be “runnething” over! It’s so exciting. But here’s the deal: Being “satisfied, but…” doesn’t count. That’s penny-ante satisfaction, and no one wants a penny-ante life.

This doesn’t mean you can’t dream for a waterfront home or a big promotion at work. All satisfaction asks of us is to take a moment to be happy with what you have right now. Can you write down five things you are satisfied with? Go for 10.

I want to lose weight, but in the meantime, I am satisfied with my lips, my hair and my legs. I am grateful I am healthy enough to walk the beach. I am satisfied with the Lowcountry’s natural beauty and the fresh, salt air. I am satisfied with this issue of Pink. Sure, I would like to live waterfront one day, but right now I am thrilled to be moving back into my home after Hurricane Matthew. I am completely satisfied with the new paint colors, the new lighting, especially the dining room chandelier, the new deck that I can have friends over just in time to sit around the fire pit in the coolness of fall. I’m satisfied my builder went above and beyond for me. When I start thinking of all the things I’m satisfied with, my mind doesn’t even veer to what I don’t have, what I want or what I’m dissatisfied about. That’s something to be grateful for in and of itself—we can escape constant want, emptiness and lack just by shifting our minds to a state of gratitude.

Oprah Winfrey encouraged us years ago to keep a gratitude journal. She said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough.”

I bought a little green gratitude journal a few years back with the intent to write in it every night. I haven’t kept up with it. However, after this past year, in which blessings flowed out of the rubble like high tide on a moonlit night, I am convinced living gratefully is the most fulfilling way to move through life. Life can be that simple if you let it. Own it. Be thankful for it. Enjoy it.

Please know, from the bottom of my heart, I am so grateful to each one of you for reading, supporting and enjoying Pink. I never take that for granted, and I never will. However, as much as I love you, I have to ask WHAT IF you woke up tomorrow with only the things you were grateful for today? Would your life change?

Happy Thanksgiving! May this holiday season delight in the dance of gratitude.

Think Pink!
Elizabeth Skenes Millen