An Extra Ordinary Thank You
Closing down for the day, a good, ordinary day with enjoyable client sessions and opportunity to meet new people, I notice an email from my son Shawn. Email? Odd as usually it is a text or phone call. Wondering what it could be. I quickly open it to find a document attached, “Dear Mom”. With thoughts whirling of “oh no; oh my, what is up?”, I clicked and began reading, to soon have my ordinarily good day turn into an extra ordinary day.
Shawn had penned a thank you letter to me, not an ordinary thank you letter for his Christmas gifts. Rather, an extra ordinarily rich, heartfelt thank you letter like none I had ever received. Sharing an aha moment at a Christmas Eve gathering with friends that caused him to reflect on our family and our 15 years together, he was letting me know how grateful he is that I married his dad. “I don’t think a thousand thank you letters could show my gratitude for choosing to be in our family” he writes as he assures me with wisdom beyond his 21 years, that he is always going to be there for me, no matter what; we were family.
Tears streaming, I sat in awe, in joy, in the grace of the love and gratitude he expressed, opening my heart to absorb and to feel, and resisting my more natural tendency to process it in my head with questions like why now or did his father say something to him. This was the time to let my heart speak and allow it to guide my reflection as I absorbed and embraced each word, again and again.
A letter I will treasure for many years to come. An invaluable gift reminding me of the power of the written word and showing me the infinite value of expressing gratitude for the impact someone has had on your life.
Thank you. Two of the first words many of us spoke, and a phrase that has become intrinsic to our daily, ordinary vocabulary. I hear them said often, although sometimes not as often as I like. I hear myself say them, and truth be known, could say them a whole lot more.
I could also say them with a lot more meaning, with my heart engaged, rather than just my head; thus, allowing the simple, ordinary phrase to take on a much richer expression. In and of itself, thank you is a gift, available to us every day, all day long, to express with meaning and thereby make someone’s day a little brighter.
Over the years, Shawn has given me many gifts. Some have been wrapped, and more have simply been the ordinary moments which have been made extraordinary. While I haven’t been counting, I would say he has said thank you a thousand times before.
His letter has led me to reflect on much, and in particular, how many times I have not taken the time or opportunity to express my gratitude to those who have forever touched, enriched my life. I do not know “why now” and resist asking him, for his gift is made sweeter by not having a particular reason or occasion other than the desire to express what was on his mind, and in his heart.
One of the generative effects of his letter, and my reason for sharing it with you, is to encourage us all to seize those ordinary opportunities to express the extra ordinary gratitude we have to those we love, to those we treasure. To put our thoughts on paper, and send them in a letter: a letter to treasure; a letter of heart speak. You will be glad you did, and I guarantee you will turn someone’s day from ordinary to extraordinary.
Say thank you with meaning. Say it often.
Write a letter of gratitude to your parent(s), your child, your sibling, your friend(s)….let them know what they mean to you and how grateful you are to have them in your life.
About Extra Ordinary Living
Janet began her coaching journey in January of 2004, leaving behind a satisfying career as a healthcare executive. Working first under the company name, Tiberius Enterprises, in January of 2007, Janet adopted the company name, Extra Ordinary Living, symbolizing her desire to work with people who defy the law of average and want to live extraordinary lives, consistently adding the extra to the ordinary. Her by-line embracing sustainable change is reflective of two intentions. First is to have the changes a client makes have long term positive implications. Second is to live a life that respects the importance of sustaining our planet’s lives for generations to follow.
As an Executive Coach, Janet’s intention is to assist service professionals and organizations to maximize their return on human capital….managing human behaviors for optimal outcomes. Janet has repeatedly found that an individual’s professional and personal satisfaction and happiness is often limited by their very own “human capital.” She loves working with people to identify and own their natural tendencies, abilities and talents; to recognize their limitations, and apply all in creating the life they have historically only dreamed about. As a professional coach, Janet is trained to listen, to observe and to customize her approach to match her client’s needs. She provides tools, support, structure and accountability to help her clients unleash their full potential and optimize results.
Having a coach herself for over four years, Janet has found the best thing about coaching is that it is all about you, the client, and what you want. A coach may share her opinion, and give you advice; however, it is all up to you to pick and choose what you want to accept. A coach suspends judgment, and supports you in your decisions.
With the coaching philosophy as her foundation, Janet is also an inspirational Professional Speaker. She has spoken at local, state and national conferences, providing the plenary session as well as more structured workshops. Her goal is to impart useful, practical and memorable information in a fun and dynamic way to assist her audiences in living extra ordinary lives. Janet always customizes her content to match her audience.
Interested in learning more? Please contact Janet by phone at 540-342-3040, email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website, www.4extraordinaryliving.com.
Janet Crawford MHA, MBA Professional Certified Coach
Extra Ordinary Living is written for aspiring individuals looking for new perspectives and ideas for living life differently by finding the Extra in the Ordinary.
"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough."
– Meister Eckhart
"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies,
those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world."
– John Milton
"Gratitude is the heart's memory."
Sustainable Living Tip: Slow Down
Michael Grosvenor in his Sustainable Living Tips blog puts slowing down at the top of his list for living a more sustainable life, especially if you are hooked on buying the latest and greatest products on the market, throwing away the still functioning just not so hip one that it is replacing. Or driving 70 when the speed limit is 60? Or how about all those trips through the drive through window because we don’t have time to go in. Ever think about the impact of your idling car or the paper and Styrofoam waste? And then we proceed to consume it fast, no waste there, no chewing either. Hmmm, I guess he has a point as did Simon and Garfunkle years ago:
Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy.
It’s as if we have developed a resistance to slow, an addiction to fast. I encourage us all to practice slowing down. We will be better for doing so and so will our earthly home.
Extra Ordinary Living Updates
I am entering the world of social networking. Would love to be your friend on Facebook and Twitter, JanetmCrawford; on Linkedin Janet Crawford, and will have a blog: www.4extraordinaryliving.