Have you noticed that we appreciate things more when we lose them? I know I did before being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 23 in 1986 when I went from a competitive athlete to being paralyzed from the neck down. Since that time, I have experienced numerous attacks of paralysis and blindness with varying degrees of recovery in between.

Now, I give thanks each night for the senses which I DO have, rather than the abilities I have lost. It’s amazing how beautiful a sunset is when you’ve lost your eyesight for a few weeks or how enjoyable a walk along the beach can be when you’ve been confined to a wheelchair, paralyzed for nearly a month. Since regaining my ability to walk, I truly appreciate playing a round of golf with my husband and traveling internationally as I’m no longer bedridden.Years ago when I was in a wheelchair during Canadian Thanksgiving, I decided to go to a Medical Healing retreat in Baja, California, Mexico. My recovery was so terrific that I was able to enjoy a “personal best” golf round one month later during the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend – I savored that turkey dinner in more ways than one! During times when I have lost my sense of touch and feeling to the degree that I could no longer appreciate the softness of my pet’s fur, I would take action with an “attitude of gratitude” and book an appointment at a spa – when my legs were numb, it was an ideal time to have them waxed!

Of all the holidays I celebrate each year, I enjoy Thanksgiving the most because it’s an opportunity to share with my loved ones the lessons I have learned about never taking things for granted and especially, to treat EVERY day like it’s Thanksgiving Day. I encourage them to practice Jack Canfield’s quote – “Each night when you go to sleep, try counting your blessings, instead of just counting sheep.”

~Jan Mills, Speaker, Health & Wellness Coach, www.janmills.net

Published in Heart of the Holidays