Wisdom Magazine's Monthly Webzine Skip Navigation Links
Wisdom Magazine is also one of the country's largest free holistic publications with 150,000 copies printed bi-monthly in three regional print editions. Wisdom is dedicated to opening people's hearts and minds to the philosophies, products and services of the new millennium.
Home  About  This Month's Articles  Calendar of Events  Classified Listings  Holistic Resource Directory
 Educational Programs  Sacred Journeys & Retreats  Reiki Healing
 Article Archives  What's New in Books, CD's & DVD's  Wisdom Marketplace
 Where to Find Wisdom Near You  Subscriptions  Web Partner Links
 Advertising Information  Contact Us
Denali Institute of Northern Traditions
Miriam Smith
Margaret Ann Lembo
Judith Costa
Laura Norman Reflexology
Vibes Up
Light Healing
Get the Gel
Alternatives For Healing

A Year of Living "Great"-fully: 50 Ways to Say Thank You

Excerpt from Living Life As A Thank You

by Nina Lesowitz

Realizing that we are part of a greater whole is one of the fundamental keys to well-being. Those who accept the guidance and direction within themselves discover a force that yields joy and thankfulness.

Wanting to do something to empower herself, but more importantly pay tribute to her lifelong belief that we are here to help each other, Elida Witthoeft turned to creative service to others. In her story we see how, by following our inner wisdom and celebrating life and our role in the greater scheme of the universe, we can tap into the power of grace and gratitude every day.


In 2007, the year Elida Witthoeft turned 50, she decided to dedicate herself to “The Year of 50 Good things.” Her younger cousin had recently been diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer, so she decided to make the Race for the Cure her centerpiece. In early June (right before the big b-day), the Unionville, Connecticut, resident walked the race and raised more than $2,000 for breast cancer research.

That was just her first act of thankfulness. Forty-nine to go.

“All year, I sought things to do to add to the list,” Elida, a senior news editor at ESPN, recalls.

She volunteered time at a local children’s museum during Black History Month. She donated books to local Head Start students. She donated money to causes ranging from scholarships at Northwestern University (her alma mater) to Nothing but Nets, a group that buys malaria nets for sub-Saharan African families. She served as a mentor in three mentoring programs at ESPN. She threw a party for the folks at the senior center and donated a microwave oven to the center.

“When you think about it, fifty things add up to one act a week,” Elida says. “By the end of the year, I was more into finding things to do than keeping track. The entire project gave very special meaning to a landmark year in my life, and I will never forget it. I was grateful I was able to donate time and money and help people in the process.”

Elida’s life’s adage is taken from Winston Churchill, who said, “We make a living from what we get. We make a life from what we give.” She also lives by the words in Luke 12:49, “To whom much is given, much is required.”

“Declaring my fiftieth year ‘The Year of 50 Good Things’ gave me a chance to live those beliefs,” she says.

Sadly, Elida’s cousin lost her battle with cancer in December 2007. She was 47. “I’ll never regret the time I spent on the centerpiece of the project,” Elida says.

Gratitude Practice

In her book Heart Steps: Prayers and Declarations for a Creative Life, Julie Cameron suggests we experiment with prayers and declarations and then record for ourselves the results we observe in our life and in our consciousness. Practice repeating this to yourself every day: “I find joy in service. I open my mind and heart to eh plan of service that brings the most joy to me and others. I accept my guidance and direction as the unfold within me.”

MARY BETH SAMMONS is an award-winning journalist and author who is grateful to be welcomed into the lives of those she writes about who are experiencing the ups and downs of handling life, parenting, and caregiving in Family Circle, the Chicago Tribune's lifestyle section, and on various online health and wellness websites. The author of seven books in the women's self-help and health and wellness fields, including We Carry Each Other: Getting Through Life's Toughest Times; My Family: Collected Memories; and Gifts with Heart. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her children.

NINA LESOWITZ is a gratitude practictioner in the San Francisco Bay Area. A volunteer for literacy organizations, she also runs Spinergy Group which represents authors and corporate clients as well as non profits. The recipient of numerous awards and tributes including a national award for excellence in media relations, Nina is co-author of the bestselling book, The Party Girl Cookbook. She becomes more thankful each passing day for the myriad blessings in her life.

Living Life as a Thank You: The Transformative Power of Daily Gratitude

by Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons


US Price: $15.95

Nov 2009

Publisher: Viva Editions

Add Comment

Article Archives  This Month's Articles  Click Here for more articles by Nina Lesowitz
Get the Gel
Light Healing
Miriam Smith
Kiros Book
Alternatives For Healing
Judith Costa
Laura Norman Reflexology
Denali Institute
Margaret Ann Lembo

Call Us Toll Free: 888-577-8091 or  |  Email Us  | About Us  | Privacy Policy  | Site Map  | © 2016 Wisdom Magazine