5 Quotes to Inspire a Heart of Gratitude

Heart of Gratitude

November marks the beginning of the holiday season. While December is all about giving, November is all about gratitude.  I wish November would last forever – not because of the turkey and certainly not for the snowy cold weather, but because it’s a month that encourages us to be thankful and to acknowledge our many blessings. I too can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life but for now; for today, let’s all choose to pause and express gratitude.

My hope is that these 5 quotes about gratitude fill you will a sense of thankfulness as they filled me.

At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. ~Albert Schweitzer

In my keynote, Celebrate Nursing: Human by Birth – Hero by Choice, I talk about finding the beauty in others (It’s my Sephora ‘beautiful’ story). That even in the “ugliest” person, there is beauty and sometimes, all they need is for someone to reach down deep, find their beauty, and pull it out.

Although this quote focuses on being grateful to others who have rekindled a spark in ourselves, I want you to flip it – be that spark for someone else.

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude. ~Karl Barth

This year I’ve experienced more joy than I’ve ever experienced in my life. It had nothing to do with any awards, recognitions, or business growth. It had everything to do with an 8 lb., 6 oz. tiny human. In July, my oldest daughter Kaitlin gave birth to my first grandchild, Olivia Lauren Hicks. My life will never be the same.

I encourage you to find that feeling of insurmountable joy whether it’s from a tiny human, furry pet, elderly parent, etc. Finding that joy is a game changer.

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance. ~Eckhart Tolle

I live in Pittsburgh, PA and by now we are all aware of the tragedy our great city faced on October 27, 2018. Eleven people were killed and four injured because of hate. My husband is a retired Detective for the Pittsburgh Police; Squirrel Hill was his area, he guarded that Synagogue many times, and knew many of the victims and officers who were injured.

Cruelty can happen any time, anywhere; even in our own backyards.

In one of my favorite movies, Where the Heart Is, Natalie Portman’s character, Novelle, tries to comfort her friend after her and her children were attacked. Her friend asks Novelle, “What do I say to my children [about the cruelty in the world]…”

Novelle’s response…

“You tell them that our lives can change with every breath we take… and tell ’em to hold on like hell to what they’ve got: each other, and a mother who would die for them and almost did… You tell them we’ve all got meanness in us, but we’ve got goodness too. And the only thing worth living for is the good. And that’s why we’ve got to make sure we pass it on.”

What Natalie Portman’s character says is exactly what I’m saying to you, and what this quote by Eckhart Tolle is implying.  We each have a choice to make when tragedy finds us – spend our time and energy focused on what’s wrong in this world or focus on the goodness. I choose goodness and hope you do too.

You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.~Ralph Waldo Emerson

As a workplace bullying expert, I’ve seen and heard my share of cruelty. Why oh why are nurses so caring and compassionate to their patients but cruel to each other? It makes no sense!! To counteract the cruelty in healthcare, in October 2018, I launched a Kindness Campaign. Kindness has always been one of my core values and a primary reason why I decided to go down the rabbit hole into workplace bullying and incivility. I just couldn’t sit back and ignore the badness I was seeing.

I’m inviting you to get involved in spreading kindness. Because like Ralph Waldo Emerson said, it’s never too soon.

No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.~Alfred North Whitehead

The people we surround ourselves will influence us. So, stop spending your time with people who complain constantly, who are greedy and selfish, and who go out of their way to bring others down.  Instead, spend more time with the people who act as your own personal cheerleaders, who build you up, who go out of their way to support you and who talk about positive things.

Who can you support and help today? Who has helped you in the past? Acknowledge anyone who has played a role in your success.

What I’m thankful for this year

Perhaps it’s because we’re nurses and know how precious life is that we recognize that while material things are nice, we realize that it’s the humans in our lives – not the stuff that matters most.

I’m thankful to have met and married the most amazing human – my husband, Ashley. He reminds me that there’s nothing more important in life than serving others.

I’m thankful for raising two daughters, Kaitlin and Courtney who are beautiful inside and out. They are kind, love to make me laugh and remind me to always find a way to be silly.

…my mom who when I visit (she lives in California) makes me creamy macaroni and cheese, makes sure she has a few bottles of my favorite wine (Coppola Claret) and even crochets me a poncho from time to time.

…my dad who keeps me in line (recently told me that I had a shelf life and that I needed to slow down!), reminds me of the importance of family and to always do the right thing – no matter what.

…my siblings – Jerry, Tina, Erik and Amy. Even though we are scattered across the country, we would stop at nothing to protect and take care of each other. Blood is blood.

…my besties  – Kimmy and Dina, who love me unconditionally and who are Olivia’s “Grammies” too!!

…my team at The Healthy Workforce Institute who keeps me growing.  Ashley, Bobbie, Kim, Jane, Diane, Sarah, Kali, Courtney, Kirby, Bonnie, Cindy, Pam, Diane, Shauna, Joanne, Mary Clare and Mitch. You all totally rock!

… all the great nurses whom I’ve met over the years. Nurses who inspire others through their service and sacrifice. Nurses who demonstrate strength and courage during life and death situations. Nurses who while saving someone’s life with one hand uses the other to comfort someone in need. Nurses who come into work every day KNOWING that they have to make decisions based on what’s best for patients – not themselves.

Who are YOU grateful for this year? I’d love to know.

Be kind. Take care. Stay connected.

Renee Thompson

About Renee Thompson

Dr. Renee Thompson is a keynote speaker, author and professional development/anti-bullying thought leader. Renee spends the majority of her time helping healthcare and academic organizations address and eliminate bullying behavior. To find out how you can bring Renee to YOUR organization or nursing event, visit www.healthyworkforceinstitute.com

There are 2 comments on this post
  • Renee Thompson
    Bob Norton RN
    Nov 20, 2018 Reply

    Love the photo of you and your granddaughter! You are one of the elite RN’s in the field of nursing. I’m grateful to have met you and Ashley. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Renee Thompson
      Renee Thompson
      Nov 22, 2018 Reply

      Thanks Bob!! She is the joy of my life. You're a good human Bob. Blessings to you and your family.

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