Are you still thankful?
I know we just had a long weekend to gather, discuss, and celebrate our thankfulness, but as you assimilate back into the everyday grind, is your head still in that space?
A blessing is (according to Merriam Webster) something conducive to happiness or welfare.
Do you recognize or count your blessings?
My Monday Mood was prompted by this sensational song from Mattiel of Atlanta, Georgia.
Mattiel-Count Your Blessings
Here’s how my day started…
I woke up this morning and did my quick yoga stretches. Then, I washed my face and brushed my teeth and headed downstairs to check on my sweet cocker spaniel, get warm coffee, and scan the newspaper headlines. Somewhere in between my usual routine, I checked my personal e-mail. It was completely flooded with products, shops, and companies giving away major discounts on their selected products. I was jolted into remembering that today is “Cyber-Monday”. My e-mails were hidden in between hundreds of money saving and must have Christmas gifts.
After opening a few, curious to see what all the deals were, I realized quickly…I don’t need or want any of this stuff. Do my friends and loved ones want this stuff? Hmmm. Perhaps they are online right now clicking, saving, and purchasing.
The memory of my Thanksgiving break became illuminated in my head. We had abundant amounts of food, warm hugs, thoughtful conversations, and genuine love for one another. I experienced so much joy in those very simple things. After thinking about it, I recognize how fortunate I am. I have many blessings to count and they have nothing to do with bargains or material things.
But, do I carry that same thankfulness each and every day? Do you?
It is hard to be thankful when things go wrong, we feel sad, or a bad situation becomes worse. Thankfulness is also challenged when each day can begin to seem mundane or blasé, and we end up wishing away the days until something exciting happens.
There have been many studies confirming that gratefulness and focusing on your blessings can slowly transform your attitude and in some cases improve happiness and overall well-being. But if our lives are so hectic and busy, how do we find the time to be thankful?
How can we not take the time?
Taking a quiet pause in each day to recognize a sweet moment, a blessing, or express thankfulness might help us extend Thanksgiving beyond its expected yearly date. Perhaps you might experience one of these…the parking space that suddenly appears, a friendly smile from a stranger, a text or message from someone you love, or simply your dog’s wagging tail of joy at the end of a very long day. All are minor moments that can easily pass us by unnoticed.
Simple moments which are acknowledged or recognized, can refresh our eyes and help them begin to seek out more occasions to be thankful for. So the more blessings we acknowledge, the more we might see. It might also help to make us experience life with our full attention. When we are seeking out blessings, we have to be more present in the moment and maybe that helps us to make more time for other people.
“Make yourself at home again,
Count your blessings one to ten
Your body will be whole again
Your body will be whole again
Make yourself at home again,
Count your blessings one to ten”
Mattiel Brown of Atlanta Georgia, is a bold artist worthy of your attention. She grew up working on her mother’s farm where the open space and freedom of being an only child helped her to develop a wide range of interests. She is an ad designer, illustrator, set builder, and now a soulful singer/songwriter with a bluesy garage vibe amid 60’s rock ‘n roll edges.
In “Count Your Blessings”, Mattiel commands her power packed voice to belt out the lyrics among sing-song Doo-wop harmonies, guitars, horns, and toe tapping drum beats. Her sound is clearly steeped in the past, but with the reverb and the instrumental arrangements, it seems fresh and updated. Her collaboration with Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley helped create their two song EP release last summer (including “Count Your Blessings”), and most recently their full album, Mattiel, with 12 stand alone rocking tracks.
“Their process was simple: Michael and Swilley supplied instrumental compositions and handed them over to Mattiel for lyrical content and melodies. Her influences include Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Andre 3000, Marc Bolan, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Staple Singers and Jack White among many others.”
Burger Records took notice and backed the projects. Despite her continuing to work in house with Mail Chimp’s design team during the week, I am hoping there will be some touring to promote the new album. I can’t wait, because I agree with a fan on her bandcamp page.
Dustin Griffiths writes,
“Mattiel is a refreshing sound in a genre full of hushed female vocalists. Her voice is a weapon, and she’s not afraid to use it.”
So, as I gear up for the fast and frenetic holiday season, I will make a point to take a pause each day to count my blessings. Perhaps it will be a powerful way to uncover the child-like joy of the season that seems to be missing in the rush to buy and consume.
#1- Found a great song and a new singer which was the catalyst to totally changing my mood today as well as my overall outlook….