Christmas is always an amazing time of year for me. It seems to cause my spirit to move in amazing directions as there are always so many different events, gatherings and yes, even some opportunities to slow down and actually enjoy the season. In those moments when I slow down, I am so grateful.

My concern is that I want to live into this all year long, but sometimes I really fail to do this. So to start 2019, we wanted to give you a few ideas, maybe some different pathways forward to deepen your own sense of gratitude and make it last longer than just one or two months of the year. So here goes:

  1. Breathe In, and Breathe Out. OK, do it again. It’s an amazing thing to simply be alive, to know that your body has life and that a simple thing like recognizing that we have breath is something to be celebrated, something to be grateful for.
  2. Be Present. Really. Don’t think about what is next or what happened last week. Just consider what is right before you and how you are experiencing it and what you are sensing, feeling and understanding. As leaders, people know when we are present OR when we are not. Practice it for you and for them.
  3. No More Comparisons. Not with yourself, your friends, who you used to be, your parents, colleagues…. No more. Just stop it! (Instead of the Nike, Just do it!)
  4. Be in Community. As I was researching some items about community, I came across the thought that almost anything we do, we can do with others. Watching a game (there are people in the stands, in our home and online), attending church, playing X-Box (there’s an online community), walking down a street (there are many neighbors we meet), at work, at soccer practice, etc. We are creatures who were made to be in relationship with others, yet at times we are distant and lonely. Jump back in, get with some people who you care for.
  5. Notice Stuff. This past weekend I had the opportunity to be in Columbia, Pennsylvania, which is a small town that I rarely ever walk in but sometimes drive through. I was walking near the center of town and simply noticed the Boys and Girls Club, a church for those of Haitian heritage, a pizza place with really good pizza, an old diner style restaurant, and an old bank sign that looked like it was recently created in a vintage style, but probably was just there for a long time. All of these places had a story to tell but I needed to be close enough to hear it.
  6. Journal. I know this is difficult, but so often when we commit something to writing it takes an entirely new direction and creates deeper and stronger meaning. This also creates a record of where we have been and where we are going.
  7. Remember. The Israelites were also told by God, to simply remember – where they came from, why they existed, what their purpose was. In the pace of the day, a week and a month, it is easy to forget our purpose and our past. Remember it, frequently.

Anything we missed? We would love to hear your additions. Feel free to contact us.

So to practice and in closing, I am so very grateful to all of the people who are coming along with us on this journey called ForgeWorks. It is so amazing to see hear feedback, to know that others are seeing the opportunity for a new way forward for us and our fellow non-profits. So good to see you and work together. And thanks again for making 2018 so rich and enjoyable for all of us at ForgeWorks.