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November 2008: "Here comes Thanksgiving!"

Thanks and Giving. Two beautiful words if you look at them both individually and together.

What will you give thanks for this November?

Who will you acknowledge by giving, perhaps with a long overdue thanks for something that was done for you in the last year that you may have just taken for granted or forgotten because of your busyness in living your own life?

What emotion or mood came up for you when I asked those questions?

Let's do a little exercise here.

Think about thanks and giving and who you may not have given thanks to over this past year.

Now state to yourself quietly or out loud what emotion or mood shows up in thinking about my questions.

Is it pleasure? Is it sadness? Is it frustration? Is it wariness? Is it joy? Is it hurriedness? Is it overwhelm?

What is the emotion or the mood that comes to mind?

Let's say it's one that doesn't work for you. Perhaps anger.

Now as you know, I'm on Ontological Coach and one that coaches from 1) Linguistics, 2) Emotions and Moods, and 3) the Body.

Look at the way you are holding your body right now. If the emotion or mood that showed up was sadness, is your body in a slump? If it was happiness, are your eyes wide open? If frustration, are you frowning? Is it a body disposition that serves who you see yourself to be in your life that will make a difference? In other words, if frustration showed up and your physical face is frowning, is that who you see yourself to be as the designer of your life?

Again, remember, this is an exercise, so bear with me. If my conversation of "thanks" and "giving" brings up frustration and your body is corresponding with a frown or a slump, and that is not who you wish to be in your life, do something physical. In other words, put your body in the disposition of the person who you wish to design yourself to be. This is a funny exercise, isn't it? Different.

Oftentimes, people don't observe how much their bodies come into discussions and thoughts with them. Yes, I said that correctly. Your body speaks to you and to others and it does so automatically. In other words, without you thinking about what it is doing, your body holds your language (both what you speak and what you listen) and your emotions and moods in place.

We know we have a body; after all, we feed it, we clothe it, we exercise it, yet too few times do we realize it speaks out loud by the dispositions that it takes on. We fail to realize because we don't consciously put our attention on it or take notice of what it is saying.

Back to thanks and giving. Perhaps who you have not thanked and in the thanking you will have given a gift to, what would be the mood that you would wish to be in when you were giving thanks? Let's say the mood serenity shows up, or gratitude; if that was so, how might your body look in the mood of gratitude? Would there be a smile on your face? Would there be deep breathing? Would you have open arms?

Lastly, put yourself in that body disposition, the one YOU wish to express when you are giving thanks where you have noticed you hadn't before, or perhaps you wish to do so again. Put yourself in THAT body disposition; practice it. Now what is the mood that shows up? Has it shifted? Are you more at peace with the conversation of Thanks and Giving?

How might you now celebrate Thanksgiving with those in your life this year?

Happy Thanksgiving!


Patricia Hirsch, MBA, Master Certified Coach and Chief Empowerment Officer with Design Your Life Coaching