Thankful HeartLast week, during a coaching session for a client, this reflection question popped up for her: What does it mean for you to have a thankful heart?

She is going through probably the fiercest hardest storm to-date. She’s been bruised and battered by the hard winds and shivered for countless nights. But through it all, she’s found refuge and sanctuary and, an inner strength and resilience. Above all, she has been able (with great determination and discipline) to maintain a strong sense of calm. Releasing of hatred and anger is the goal she is working towards.

It is not easy being my client because at the onset of our journey together, I tell them that my role is not to sugar coat nor am I in a popularity contest. My role is to be a catalyst in the transformational journey and that means facing hard truths at times. It also means accepting and taking action on recommendations even if it is something that throws them out of their comfort zone. Or something that is painful for them to do. For those with perseverance and willingness to do what it takes, there is always positive changes.

In my client’s case, she was what the world would perceive as the ‘victim’ in the situation. So the question I posed to her was not an easy one. But she graciously and openly accepted the reflective task for this period of Christmas in preparation for a new fresh start in 2015.

It is also a question that I have taken on for my own self-reflection and preparation for a brand new year. And it is a question that I think would benefit many.

In his book Hardwiring Happiness, neuropsychologist Dr Rick Hanson shared about the importance of regularly taking in the good to create neural pathways we need for well being. Unless we pay mindful, sustained attention to them, most positive experiences flow through our brains like water through a sieve. The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.

If that it the case, then having a thankful heart would also allow us to create positive neural pathways as well as a healthy heart.

What does it mean for you to have a thankful heart?

I am still reflecting on the question and it has been liberating to explore some of the pathways that my heart takes me to. To savour each new insight and thought. Much to think about and lots of experiences to reframe. All which is useful and beneficial for moving ahead.