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A Grateful Heart

Text by: Jacque Crosswell Watene, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Dear Polite Society Reader,

I hope this month finds you in great health and lively spirits! You have been on my mind almost constantly these last few weeks as my team and I collect the stories, articles, pictorials, and inspiration we believe will invoke more harmony and beauty in your life and ours. We are on this journey together, hand in hand, uplifting and guiding each other as we go along. I have been doing a great deal of reflecting lately, looking inward to see what areas in my character could use an overhaul; a true change in my behavior and thoughts could benefit not only myself, but all whom I come in contact with. Certainly, no woman (or man) is an island.

In the process of taking a personal inventory of my life, I’ve realized that while I have much room for improvement, and so many dreams yet unrealized, I already have so incredibly much to be grateful for. I invite you to think for a moment of the thing you are most thankful for in your own life. Is it your home? Your health? Your job? Your child? Your partner? Now close your eyes and focus for just a minute on that for which you are so grateful. How does that focused thought make you feel?

The most gratifying aspect of my existence is my family. At times, I wonder what my life would be like without them, and I can’t even begin to imagine what I would do with myself. My husband and children are the loves of my life, and when I focus my thoughts on them, I can’t help but smile, so filled am I with the joy of loving them.

This month we explore and celebrate the two most compelling emotions, that of love and gratitude; for indeed, these two provocative emotions walk hand in hand. I have found you cannot truly feel one without the other.

Gratitude is a twofold love - love coming to visit us and love running out to greet a welcome guest.
-Henry Van Dyke

When we feel true gratitude, our spirits are lifted, and our hearts are lightened. When we feel real love, the effects are much the same. As we discover and learn more about giving thanks and love, we will automatically gain certain knowledge of how to receive gratitude and love from others. It is my fervent belief that when we spend a majority of our thoughts on feeling (and giving) these two emotions, our lives will become richer and more joyful.

This month, we celebrate the joy of cultivating love and gratitude into our characters as we take small steps to become more gracious and loving people. We invite you to join us as we pursue the idea of letter writing as an art form, recently on the verge of extinction, and now making a strong comeback, in the articles titled, “The Lost Art of Letter Writing”, and “A Proper Thanks.” Come explore Paris through the eyes and heart of Heather Williams, a lovely girl who fell in love with the romantic city up on first sight. Visit the Louvre and muse over DaVinci’s muse, Mona Lisa, with Peri Musser, our writer-in-residence, as she weaves a few captivating anecdotes about the most famous portrait in the world. And please, do yourself a favor and recreate Whitney Ingram’s (a.k.a. “Rookie Cookie”) chocolate croissant bread pudding. I can honestly say I have tasted heaven!

But before you peruse the articles in this month’s issue, pause for just a moment and write down ten things for which you are grateful. Feel that gratitude until it swells within your chest. Take a deep breath, allowing yourself to be filled with those happy thoughts and feelings. And now you are ready to receive Polite Society Magazine’s Love and Gratitude for you, our friend and reader.

All my love and gratitude,

Jacque Kay