Your Soul Food for Thanksgiving Week 2020: LOVE is the Word. Let’s Spread it, Before We Lay Out Our Holiday Spread!

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week:

Giving Thanks
In these crazy times I would like to take a moment to express my sincere thanks to each and every one of you that read and share this blog and choose to pay it forward!
This year has been like none other in my experience, and I remain humbled and awed by your generosity of time, talent and treasure in service of our extended community and tiny blue planet.
May you find time, over the holiday season, to pause, reflect, and invest your discretionary energy & intention in an attitude of gratitude, and deeply internalize the positive impact you make in the lives of others.

Feeding Hungry Families Over the Holidays:
As we enter the typical holiday season in a most untypical fashion, we are at it again…

We just announced our Holiday Giving Fundraiser; Feeding Hungry Families Over the Holidays, in support of so many San Diegans that remain in dire need for even the most basic necessities, more than nine months into this horrific pandemic.
While many of us are complaining about having a lot on our plate right now, others literally have nothing on their plate, and are going hungry, with food insufficiency in our community once again rising to unprecedented levels.

On the last go around, earlier this year, we focused on just one organization, The San Diego Food Bank, and our matching campaign- thanks to the generosity of so many like you- raised over $400K which translated to over 2 million meals for local families.

This time we are supporting three local San Diego non-profit partners who will be working hard to help feed those in need through the holidays.

They are:
The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank
The San Diego Rescue Mission
The Salvation Army San Diego County

A new TV commercial is currently airing in support of this initiative, and campaign details with additional information, including the commercial as well as donation links for each of the 3 nonprofit partners can all be found at:
This Feeding Hungry Families Over the Holidays campaign will run from now through the end of the year.

My ask-
Can you help me get the word out so we can get the support in?
Mission Fed will match it up to $30,000 making each person’s contribution go further, so let’s rise to the occasion!

Thank you for your love of humanity and generosity of spirit, however you express it…
LOVE is the word. Let’s spread it, before we lay out our delicious spread!
Btw, The San Diego Rescue Mission was featured on KUSI last Friday and here’s a link to the clip:

5 ways to practice Thanksgiving every day of the year.
Thank You.

They are two words that have the power to transform our health, happiness, athletic performance and success. Research shows that grateful people are happier and more likely to maintain good friendships. A state of gratitude, according to research by the Institute of HeartMath, also improves the heart’s rhythmic functioning, which helps us to reduce stress, think more clearly under pressure and heal physically. It’s actually physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time. When you are grateful you flood your body and brain with emotions and endorphins that uplift and energize you rather than the stress hormones that drain you.

Gratitude and appreciation are also essential for a healthy work environment. In fact, the number one reason why people leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated. A simple thank you and a show of appreciation can make all the difference.

Gratitude is like muscle. The more we do with it the stronger it gets. In this spirit here are 5 ways to practice Thanksgiving every day of the year.

1) Take a Daily Thank You Walk  – I started this practice 15 years ago and it changed my life. Take a simple 10-30 minute walk each day and say out loud what you are thankful for. This will set you up for a positive day. I wrote more about this in The Positive Dog . 

2) Meal Time Thank You’s  – On Thanksgiving, or just at dinner go around the table and have each person, including the kids, say what they are thankful for.

3) Gratitude Visit  – Martin Seligman, Ph.D., the father of positive psychology, suggests that we write a letter expressing our gratitude to someone. Then we visit this person and read them the letter. His research shows that people who do this are measurably happier and less depressed a month later.

4) Say Thank You at Work  – When Doug Conant was the CEO of Campbell Soup he wrote approximately 30,000 thank you notes to his employees and energized the company in the process. Energize and engage your co-workers and team by letting them know you are grateful for them and their work. Organizations spend billions of dollars collectively on recognition programs but the best and cheapest recognition program of all consists of a sincere THANK YOU. And of course don’t forget to say thank you to your clients and customers too. 

5) Say Thank you and Goodnight  – At bedtime reflect on your day, identify and share all that you are thankful for. If you have children you can read Thank You and Goodnight with them and add to it.

Teaching Kids to Be Thankful with Scott S from The YouSchool:
Foundational Question #12: What are you thankful for?

I’ll admit, I took most everything for granted when I was growing up. Yes, I did write thank you notes to my grandparents and brought teacher appreciation gifts to school that my mom bought. Generally, though, thankfulness was more about having good manners than an internal quality. Most things came easy to me and my parents gave me a lot- resources, experiences, and love. It really wasn’t until much later well into my adult years that I began to both practice gratitude as well as feel grateful. 

A lot of kids are like me. They take things for granted. They don’t have a broader perspective of who sacrificed for them or really have to work for what they get- nor should they. They’re kids. But can you imagine a full-grown, mature, healthy adult who still takes life for granted? I can’t. 
Wise and emotionally healthy people would say: Everything is a gift. Everything. How do you learn that? How do you teach that?

Gratitude is something that you develop over time. You have to be guided into it. It has to be something that is caught, not taught deliberately or overtly. You have to pause and reflect on what you’ve received. It’s one thing to go through the motions of gratitude, it’s another to express it to someone else. And it’s an even higher level to feel it in an authentic way on the inside. 

Okay, so how do you teach and train kids to be grateful?

  1. You have to model it
  2. Create an expectation for it
  3. Carve out consistent time to practice it
  4. Celebrate and rejoice every time you see it

It’s easy to forget all of the foundational elements a kid needs in order to make the transition to healthy adulthood. There’s a lot to learn and a lot that’s really important, like how to change a tire, how to interview for a job, and how to pay your insurance premiums on time. Those life skills can seem like the most important things we need to pass on. But what we’re trying to do is provide clarity to parents and educators about the most important lessons. 

A key foundational element for building a meaningful life is developing a practice of thankfulness and gratitude. It’s so important, we build an entire course about it.

Click to Download the Meaningful Life Checklist 

I’d love to hear from you and how we can support your work with students. 

All for the sake of kids,

Scott Schimmel
President & Chief Guide | The YouSchool

“Our capacity to draw happiness from aesthetic objects or material goods in fact seems critically dependent on our first satisfying a more important range of emotional or psychological needs, among them the need for understanding, for love, expression and respect.”

– Alain De Botton (B – 1969)
British-based author and television presenter

Thanks this week go to each of you, my family, my work family, and my community family.
Please pay it forward with gratitude!
Joy shared is doubled. Misery shared is halved. Can you share this with someone who might benefit?

Love all,

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest
appreciation is not to
utter words, but to live by them.
~John Fitzgerald

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