I thought it would be appropriate to publish a narrative about gratitude and thankfulness on my blog “Metamorphosis – Your Stories” during this Thanksgiving holiday.
Many times around this country, at the Thanksgiving table, people take the time to share what they are grateful for. But how often do we take the time, regardless of the occasion, to let someone know that we appreciate them? A simple heartfelt note, email, or phone call expressing gratitude can light up someone’s day. Contributing author Lynette Smith’s intent is to get people to write letters of appreciation so they can establish, enhance, and even rebuild their relationships and thus change their world.“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow” Melody Beattie
Today, I am grateful for the fullness of my extended family, friendships and creative spirit in my life. Happy Thanksgiving to all! The Essence of Laurel
Walking the Flower-Lined Path
Contributed by Lynette M. Smith
I consider myself pretty well balanced; I love my husband and family, value my friends, enjoy my freelance copyediting career, and hold solid spiritual values. But I have a little secret: I have a fear of change.
Sometimes I avoid starting a major marketing campaign or other activity. Other times, I execute nearly all the details but balk at taking that last step, that final leap of faith. I freeze and wonder: “Can I cope with the big changes success or failure might bring? Do I really want to venture out of my comfort zone into the great unknown?” So I stall, making the excuses: “There isn’t enough time in my schedule. It isn’t the right time to start or complete this activity.”
I confronted my fear in November 2011 when a business friend, studying hand analysis, was reading the life-purpose messages found within my fingerprints. While she saw the good balance in most areas of my life, she also read “fear of change” in my right index finger. Indeed, when she told me, I knew she was right. I recalled a couple of recent examples of that fear and decided to focus on one.
I shared aloud what I had been thinking about for over a year: “Should I or shouldn’t I write a how-to book about writing letters of appreciation?” No sooner had these words escaped my lips, I heard a quiet and confident voice within me clearly and distinctly say “Your book will be published by August 15th.” Surprised, I told my friend what I had just heard, adding that I’d been given not only an answer but also a deadline! I said with resolution, “Well, I guess I know what I’ll be doing for the next few months!” My friend responded “I can’t wait to watch this journey!”
A personal event had inspired me to think about writing this book. When our son Byron married Rachael in 2008, they each wrote a loving letter to their own parents, describing not only their fondest childhood memories but also the values, life lessons, and ideals they would bring to their marriage. At the wedding rehearsal, one at a time, they presented their heartfelt letters. Both sets of parents, as well as all others present, felt deeply moved. We will always treasure our son’s loving memento.
In the months that followed my “ah-ha” moment, I honored the voice and got to work. It seemed that the road was being cleared for me – whenever I needed money to pay for book-related expenses, clients gave me large copyediting projects and sizeable start-up deposits. Whenever I had to finish writing a draft by a certain date in order to stay on track, my work schedule opened up, allowing me to comfortably meet that deadline. My husband was supportive of the time I spent writing, and I never felt frazzled.
While brushing my teeth one morning, the same voice which encouraged me to move past my fear, gifted me with the title of my book. I stopped, gave thanks, and jotted the words of the title on a nearby notepad ‘How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure: For Special Occasions and Occasions Made Special’.
Soon afterward, I realized I had also manifested a “Big, Achievable Goal.” It was to get people to write letters of appreciation so they could establish, enhance, and even rebuild their relationships; thus changing their world. I saw these letters as helping to tip the world away from fear and anger towards love and appreciation, and my book to be used as a tool to help those who want to write but don’t know how to begin.
‘How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure: For Special Occasions and Occasions Made Special’ was indeed published in August, and it garners praise and enthusiasm in reviews, interviews, blogs, and articles. Meanwhile, I continue to walk what I’ve come to call “the flower-lined path” as I market this book. And my “Big, Achievable Goal” continues to be one of reminding people that writing letters of appreciation to someone special can change their world.
This experience, this journey, teaches me that when one is “on the path,” in harmony with one’s life purpose, there is nothing to fear. With God, all things are possible. Indeed, I have embarked on what I see as the most exciting and joyful time of my life. This quote from Dr. Robert Emmons’ (a Researcher on Gratitude) continues to encourage me ~
“Gratitude is literally one of the few things that can measurably change people’s lives.”
Bio – Lynette M. Smith
Lynette M. Smith lives and works in Yorba Linda, California. She owns and operates All My Best, which is both a business and nonfiction copyediting service (www.AllMyBest.com, Lynette@AllMyBest.com). She is also the publisher of appreciation products (www.GoodWaysToWrite.com, Lynette@GoodWaysToWrite.com).
The foreword of Lynette’s book is written by Peggy Post, great-granddaughter of Emily Post, director of The Emily Post Institute, and co-author of the 18th edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette.
How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure: For Special Occasions and Occasions Made Special is available in both soft cover and eBook at Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and other online booksellers. Autographed or custom-inscribed printed copies are available at www.GoodWaysToWrite.com.
Lynette is enthusiastic about sharing—through interviews, articles, presentations, workshops, and more—the message of her Big, Achievable Goal: to get millions of people worldwide to write letters of appreciation, so they can establish, enhance, and even rebuild their relationships and thus change their world. She reminds us that ~“Together we can change the world, one heartfelt letter of appreciation at a time.”