*ed note: Happy Thanksgiving, friends! What a year it has been… Today I’m sharing a post that I wrote for Thanksgiving last year. It’s interesting to look back and read my thoughts when I couldn’t have imagined the challenges that 2020 would hold. That said, it’s a reminder that some things never change, and that we have a choice to approach today – and the coming months – with a spirit of gratitude and a desire to see beauty in the world. Today is a great opportunity to spend a few minutes reflecting on what we’ve learned and how we’re growing through this experience. Hope you’re all healthy and happy today – and enjoying some really delicious food. Biggest hugs to each of you.

A few months ago, I tried an experiment. I decided to see what would happen if I was extra friendly to every stranger I encountered for a week. I’m talking “big smile, direct eye contact, outside my comfort zone” friendly. It meant not scrolling through Instagram while I waited in line for coffee, resisting the urge to chat on the phone while I grocery shopped, and not getting lost in my own thoughts so that I could pay attention to what – and who – was happening all around me. In other words, being truly present with everyone who crossed my path, even if I didn’t know them.

image by @frenchbydesign

So what happened? Countless random smiles thrown my direction, conversations started by total strangers, and a string of awesome days that left me feeling extra happy inside.

It wasn’t a coincidence; I was experiencing the oft-quoted truth that our thoughts become our actions, which become our habits, which become our destiny — in other words, our thoughts take shape and form who we really are.

image source

Nowhere do our thoughts manifest themselves so much as when we choose to adopt a spirit of gratitude. We’re all incredibly rich in so many ways, whether it’s our good health, family and friends, comfortable home, or a job that allows us to use our gifts. What would happen if we woke up each morning — not just today on Thanksgiving but normal days too — with a heart overflowing with gratitude for all the gifts in our lives? Perhaps it would erase our tendency to compare ourselves others’, or to always want more… instead allowing us to rest in the confidence that we’re enough and that we’re right where we’re supposed to be.

So friends, on this Thanksgiving, let’s put away distractions, stress, and long to-do lists and start cultivating a habit of gratitude. One of the best ways to do this is journaling, or even keeping a simple list of what we’re most grateful for in our lives.

Then on those inevitable days when nothing seems to be going right (you know, the “overslept, spilled my coffee, hate my outfit, missed my workout, and ate crap for lunch” kind of days) I can reset my mind and show up with a spirit of gratitude.

Today I’m thankful for my sweet and spirited kids, a kitchen counter overflowing with fall vegetables, a body that allows me to run and workout, coffee, my team that feels more like family, a warm bed at the end of a long day, and getting to do life with my favorite human (Adam, that is.)

I’d love to hear what you’re most thankful for today in the comments! Sending big hugs across the web, and hope that all of y’all have a wonderful, relaxing, and delicious Thanksgiving with the people you love.

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Comments (14)
  1. 1
    Kelly Krause November 24, 2016 at 6:14 am

    Love you. Happy Thanksgiving! So thankful for YOU.

  2. 2
    Vanessa @ Living in Steil November 24, 2016 at 9:05 am

    What a great post! I try to end each day by saying what I’m grateful for. I love the idea of getting off your phone and being kind to everyone you meet. I truly believe that you get back what you have the courage to put out in life. I hope you, your family, and your team have a very happy Thanksgiving!


  3. 3
    Libbynan November 24, 2016 at 9:36 am

    At nearly seventy years of age my cell phone is largely for the comfort and convenience of my family. The things Camille had to make a conscious effort to do are business as usual for me. I’m so happy she made the effort because the rewards are so great. The only way we can be truly engaged in our communities is if we actively interact with our fellow citizens on a daily basis. It’s how we find out what is working and what isn’t, what efforts are effective and which are a waste of time and money. I learn something new every time I have a conversation with someone new….a cashier, a fellow shopper, my doctor’s new nurse, the Girl Scout selling cookies….at my age, learning something new is a major occasion for thankfulness. Good going, Camille. Merry Thanksgiving!

    • Lisa November 27, 2018 at 1:15 am

      Libbynan is a very cool and wonderful person! And so is the blogger above ,sorry forgot your name.

  4. 4
    charmainenyw November 24, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving! I’m grateful for my family, my education and basically that I get to wake up every morning 🙂

    – Charmaine

  5. 5
    lavidadeelena November 24, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    I think this is a really wonderful way to challenge yourself to go outside your comfort zone, as you said. I work hard at “being present” wherever I am, and this was a very encouraging post! Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

  6. 6
    Emily Stafford November 28, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Beautiful post! Love this so much and it’s true – being grateful and reminding yourself daily can and will change your life.

    Thanks for posting!


  7. 7
    Luna November 29, 2016 at 4:35 am

    This was great blog post!!!! I think gratitude is key in life. It helps us appreciate the most little things.

  8. 8
    Chris November 22, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Such a great post and reminder to keep a grateful spirit all year long. You have the right idea, Libyan 🙂 I wonder if some people are just born more grateful than others…. I am Camille’s mother, and I can say that we both share a sense of wonder and joy at what many people would consider the ordinary things of life. She had that quality as a child and she has carried it over to adulthood. One of the many things I love about her!

  9. 9
    kacey November 22, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    happy thanksgiving, this year I learned a hard lesson that even when you go out of your way to be a better person even family cannot always reciprocate that. This post really helped me!

  10. 10
    Sitta Karina December 12, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Biggest gratitude would be kids’ exam week is finally over and we’re now preparing for the new year holiday. So excited!

  11. 11
    Carla Jacobs November 28, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Writing in a Gratitude Journal on a daily basis for the last 5 years has definitely changed how I give life and honor the small things. On days I feel like grumbling and airing grievances, I focus on how blessed I am. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  12. 12
    Norma Linnet November 29, 2019 at 1:24 am

    Today -and every day,- I’m thankful for having a job that allows me to be focused on something; for having a family, even though none of us is perfect, we help each other. For my two nephews, whom I love unconditionally. For being who I am, just Norma.

    And you’re right, Camille: If we were thankful every single day of the year for what we have, we wouldn’t focus so much on the negative aspects of our lives.

    This was a great post. Keep up the good work!