Close to two years ago, searching for something to watch on television, I decided on an independent film on the Sundance Channel—“happythankyoumoreplease.” Though I remember the faces of the two main characters, the movie itself would have been quite forgettable had it not been for the scene for which the movie was named.
In a restaurant setting, a balding white woman with alopecia whose head was covered in a wrap, tells the man across from her of a life changing moment spent in the backseat of a NY taxi. The taxi driver said, “The key to your life is gratitude. You do not give enough thanks.” This fortune telling, bang-for-your-buck-taxi-ride, was paradigm-shifting as she appeared to be a positive person—not seeing herself as a victim but out of personal experience advocating for those who are judged based on physical appearance alone. Yet, this man suggested that there was still something missing. She was apparently as intrigued as I—a mere onlooker—as she curiously asked the taxi driver in return, “How do I do that?”
He answered, “Simple. Say thank you!”
It resonated with me most because for years I have had a daily practice in which the last thing I do most nights when I lay my head on the pillow—as well as when I rise—is to say, “thank you.” Thank you for health, strength, having my being. Thank you for the activity of my limbs, the ability to breathe and the loved ones in my life. Thank you for my job—so on and so forth. Yet and still, I saw a new prospect in both what the taxi driver said and in the title of this movie—happythankyoumoreplease.
From that moment I’ve intentionally decided to constantly be in the lookout for moments for which I could be grateful, and when something happened, in that moment I would—and still do—say, “Happy. Thank you. More please.”
There is something about recognizing tiny miracles, the moment they occur, before we’re desensitized to them, that was different from saying my thanks in the morning and at night.
Not only does the practice of saying, “Happy. Thank you. More Please,” ground you in the very moment you inhabit, by acknowledging, “I’m happy,” but attention to this emotional state will attract more experiences like it. Furthermore, “thank you,” in this quick phrase continues to focus your attention on the good; grounding you in the deliciousness of the moment. And finally, “More please,” says yes to the universe. “Yes! I want to be a recipient of more of these kinds of experiences.”
So as we approach the day known for the giving of thanks, think about how this can be a regular part of your moment-by-moment existence. And if you, like the rest of us, haven’t been grateful in while, play catch up right now, in this moment, and think of all the things you have to be grateful for.
Frugalistas, share the things you have to be grateful for.