The Thanksgiving holiday that we celebrate here in the USA this week is all about consciously taking time to appreciate all that you have – especially the relationships with the people in your life.

I have had a daily gratitude practice for many years now. At times it has fallen by the wayside as I have taken it for granted – as we sometimes do with the things (and people) that are most familiar to us.

I am grateful when I have the opportunity to be reminded of the power of this simple, yet profound practice and why I choose to engage in it daily.

In January of 2004 myself and my husband packed up our lives in Jamaica and moved to Florida. I had a vision for my life that I didn’t think I could have in Jamaica.

Starting over can be exciting and it can be challenging. Moving can be challenging. I was also going back to seeking employment after being my own boss for 17 years.
I was confident I would easily pick up a job as there was a great shortage of Physical Therapists (P.T.’s).

As the weeks passed, without a single response to the many resumes and applications I had sent out, my excitement began to wane.
Doubt (fear) stepped in. “What was I thinking? I closed my successful business in Jamaica that I had built over 15 years. Nobody knows me here!”.

The critical voice in my head got louder with each day came and went, without so much of an acknowledgement of the receipt of my submitted applications and resumes. “Nobody wants you! You thought you were some hotshot P.T. eh?”.

By the 4th week, panic and despair began to set in. “You spent all this money to move here and now you have no job! The money is dwindling! You’re going to go broke!”.
Worn down by the self judgement and fear, that Sunday, I spent the whole day laying on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. I drank one beer after another, trying to drown my despair. Shame and regret were my companions. I was in a very dark place.

It is always darkest before the dawn.

The very next day, I got the call for the interview that led to my first PT job in Florida. Within a short 7 months we would own our first home – the major goal that made me want to move to the USA in the first place.

I now know that I could have saved myself a lot of heartache and misery – and probably gotten a job much sooner – if I had been focusing, with appreciation and gratitude, on the magic and miracles that were happening. All the things that were going right!

Here are just a few:

  • The acquaintance (now dear a friend) who stepped up and co-signed our lease to get our first apartment since we had no jobs and no credit. Thank you Penny Kerr. I appreciate you!
  • Gary’s Dad (now deceased) who loaned us $10,000 to bring us some financial ease while we got settled and reestablished our financial footing. Thank you Trevor MacMillan. I appreciate you!
  • The friend, who I hadn’t seen in years, who happily put me up in her home for a month while I studied for and sat my Florida PT Board exams. Thank you Julianna Hugh. I appreciate you!
  • The (now-ex) husband of that friend who co-signed the Best Buy credit card and encouraged me to “always go for the best” – inviting me to step into an abundance mindset when I was trying to come from scarcity and lack – when I was buying my computer. Thank you Earl Keene. I appreciate you!
  • The friends who encouraged me and “talked me off the ledge” in my moments of despair. Thank you Dotty Peralto, Monique Van Spankeren and Vicky Meeks. I appreciate you!
  • Finally, dear one, I appreciate you. For letting me into your world. For taking the time to connect through reading what I have to share. I hope that you derive inspiration, encouragement and insight for your own journey through these emails. Thank you for being a part of my community. Thank you for witnessing me.

With deep appreciation and gratitude,
Helen Macmillan

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