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There have been many years in my life where Thanksgiving was just a holiday to eat tons of turkey and trimmings and have some time to play, watch football, or whatever came my way.

In the past few years, I have made Thanksgiving a different tradition. We still have a feast and get to play yet we have added some rituals about gratitude and thanks that have made a huge difference in my life. First of all, we opened up Thanksgiving to include some our friends. Usually they were what we call our “orphans” or friends that did not have a place to go and be with family or friends. This has been wonderful because it started a tradition of gratitude for the friends we have and it gave us an opportunity to show our gratitude for the friendship MP and I received from them. Some years all we have is friends and that works wonderful also because in so many ways my close friends are my family.

I have also used this time to really get focused on what I am grateful for. Most days I take a few minutes to stop and breathe into what I am grateful for. This one practice has changed my life probably more than I can say. I spend so much of my life dealing with my monkey mind and what I could do better, what I should be doing, or some nonsense like that instead of being grateful for what I have, who I am and where I am in life.

What I am most grateful for this year is hope. I have reconnected with my name, Stanhope, and am on my journey of exploring all the opportunities for growth in my life. I am blessed in so many ways with so many people that love me and nurture me every day. I am finishing up my new coaching/music website that I will launch after the first of the year and even though the theme is still Wisdom of Sound, this time it is based on one of my songs, Rock of Hope. My whole philosophy of life can be summed up by the chorus of this song:

Now’s the time for faith and hope,

With love we trust again,

Take my hand and walk with me,

‘cause today, I’m a Better man…

And what makes this even more special is that I am honored that my daughter Madison chose this song to dance to for our father/daughter dance at her wedding next month. I am so grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving

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