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FCC’s Rooted in Strength…taking care of our families and ourselves resource has a short article by Dr. Georges Sabongui that describes 5 simple ways to boost serotonin. Serotonin is sometimes known as the happiness chemical, a neurotransmitter believed to help regulate mood, sleep, memory, and more.

Sabongui suggests we can build resilience by maximizing our natural serotonin levels with good sleep, smiling, sports, social contact face to face, and spirituality. He suggests spirituality is a connection to something bigger than ourselves.

As a woman of faith, my connection to God is a key factor in building resilience. At this time of Thanksgiving, I would encourage everyone, regardless of your worldview, to practice gratitude.

It’s been a tough 20 months, and we don’t know when the Great Pause is going to be history. I do know that counting our blessings, even when farming has been disappointing and cash flows are tight, we can still find things to be grateful for.

Strong families celebrate. I encourage you to find a few soybeans, peas, lentils, or corn kernels to put on your supper plate. Have everyone at the table mention 2 things they are thankful for in the past year. If people are super uncomfortable about sharing they can pass, and someone else who is brave might like to add a few things to encourage the silent person.

As farmers, we have a tangible example every harvest of ways to be thankful. It’s easy to be thankful when the hopper fills quickly, but how can one cultivate a grateful heart when the bins of life are not overflowing?

Being grateful is a conscious decision.

Can you be thankful for your daily bread, that your basic needs are still being met?

With an attitude of thankfulness for the quality of life, we enjoy on the prairies, large open spaces to listen, supportive friends, let’s look down the road and enjoy the beautiful sunset.

There’s a wooden sign in our home that is our “life verse” as a reminder to be thankful.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:6,7.

Many farm advisors would agree that the definition of success for farm families is having everyone coming home happily at Thanksgiving (or Christmas) to share the turkey. The 2021 drought, grasshoppers, selling off prized herds, and a multitude of other stresses may have you wondering what you might be thankful about this year. Come to the table prepared to bless the other members of your family with your presence and love.

Say a prayer of thanks for the circle of love and nurturing that you have experienced. Commit to celebrating the things in life that foul weather, pandemics, and tough times cannot steal- your love for one another.

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God, my Saviour.” Habakkuk 3:17-18.

“Habukkuk teaches us that joy is not dependent on circumstances but can be embraced at the worst of times,” writes Mike Mason in Champagne for the Soul. Mason says that happiness doesn’t just happen, it is an act of the will.

Thankfulness is a choice.

If you’re needing a boost of serotonin this season, go back to the basics. Get good sleep or reach out for help to accomplish this. Smile at people. Visit people face to face or pick up the phone. Walk down the lane with your spouse. Look up to the vast prairie sky and say thank you for life.

If your family dynamic is wounded or wobbly due to unmet expectations or confusion of roles as you transition, reach out for help. I’m here to help you get harmony through understanding. Gather to celebrate this Thanksgiving and continue to build a strong legacy for your farm family.

I’m thankful you took the time to read this. Let me know how your farming journey is going.

Blessing to all.
Elaine


Elaine Froese, CAFA, CSP, CHI Coach is wired to help farm families find harmony through understanding.

Visit Elaine’s store or watch her new speaker reel.

Did you enjoy Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart? You might want to check these articles out too:

Being Thankful…Even When It’s Hard
Make Time to Celebrate
Call in the clan and celebrate

Rave reviews

“A joy to work with, heard loud and clear. When the farmers laughed or asked a great question, I knew they were listening and really wanted to learn from her. Her tips were easy to understand. It was just about understanding that conflict happens, and to have the confidence in yourself to ask for what you want. In the glowing review from farmers after her presentation, I knew they had heard that loud and clear.”
Maddy Berner, Event Planner & Communications Coordinator, National Milk Producers Federation National Milk Producers Federation
“I wanted to say a HUGE thank you for your virtual kitchen table chat with Arlan Academy. My wife and I signed up as it was exceptionally relevant to our current journey with potentially transitioning to her parents’ farm. The session was able to cover so many aspects of these crucial conversations and hearing you speak to both sides of the conversation was eye opening for my own perspective on this topic. It seemed to be very well attended and sounded like there were many other people who would echo my thoughts and feelings on it.”
N. Oakley, Farmer, Ontario
“Elaine helped me allocate $1 Million of assets the night I listened to her. Elaine’s presentation brings value to the use of my services in my office.”
Don Forbes, Forbes Wealth Management
“I recently joined in and listened to your Healthy Farmer Agriwebinar for FMC. I truly enjoyed hearing your perspective and even went and grabbed my Mom, away from her work, to come and listen in on some of your main points as well! One area that really stood out for me, both personally with our own succession plans and with our clients, was your discussion involving "Instant Influence" and how ready are you to change? I loved this concept!”
Annessa Good, FCC Transition Specialist, Alberta
“Elaine Froese truly is the Farm Whisperer. With her big heart and stern resolve, she guides families through uncharted waters and helps them arrive safely at their desired destination. She has been there, done that, and has helped hundreds of families come out on the other side. With your family and your farm legacy on the line, you owe it to yourself to start this conversation. You do not need to do it alone. Let Elaine Froese guide you through. Your legacy is being written day by day. How will you be remembered?”
Tracy Brunet, Host of The Impact Farming Show & CEO of Farm Marketer
“You speak like you’ve been sitting at our kitchen table! You know our family issues well. I am feeling more comfortable understanding what we now need to do. Elaine Froese is real.”
Audience Member,
“I attended the meeting you spoke at in Stratford Ontario recently. We held an emergency family/farm meeting today because of issues that I had enough of. We used a 'talking stick' like you recommended and wrote a chart of rules. The rest of the family thought the idea that we needed a meeting was worth rolling their eyes over, until we got started. The younger ones were quick to clue in that they now have an opportunity to be bluntly honest. The older ones took a bit longer to believe they could truly say what they think. In the end, the meeting needed two sessions because there was so much to talk about… and so many things people didn't realize were a big deal to the others. Your lessons and encouragement have given us the tools we need to get to a better place in our relationships and our business. Truly thankful.”
Kim Martin, Dairy Farmer, Ontario
“Helped me develop my framework to start having constructive and meaningful conversations around the farm.”
Tennille Wakefield, Farm Partner
“Some great lessons, Elaine! You continue to do some remarkable and potentially life-changing work.”
James Mitchell, Principal, Conversations Consulting
“Our family had a good farm meeting yesterday afternoon. Your Fairness video was a great topic of discussion. One of the action items after the meeting was to have my two non-farming siblings watch the video before the next big meeting they are involved with on the farm. It will be a great conversation starter as we catch them up on our current plan. As they are younger, we also hope it will help them to ask new questions that may not have been on their mind.”
G.G., Farm Family Legacy Coach, Alberta
“Elaine gives me excellent tools that help me work with my clients!”
Laurianne Osmack, Financial Planner / Partner, Doell Osmak Wealth Management
“She has a sense of “knowing” quickly what is happening in the family dynamic. Her messages to her audiences drive home what needs to be done next to solve the complex issues of farm transition and conflict resolution.”
Audience Member,
“Eye-opening. Excited to open the door of communication with my spouse and farm family.”
Ashley Hoppe, Farm Partner
“The Strong Farms, Strong Families session gave farm families an opportunity to meet face to face with Elaine Froese... hear her own story, experiences and skill set. From this information packed session and related materials, families could identify areas of success in their journey and other places they need assistance. The greatest take away was that participants could see that Elaine Froese is someone they can trust with the things that they hold most precious.... their family and their farm.”
Nancy Atkinson, Nobleford Ag Society, Alberta
“Elaine’s real-life scenarios help her audiences know they are not alone, knowing there are creative solutions to help them get the life on the farm they have always wanted.”
Audience Member,
“A long time female client who had refined the art of procrastination was so moved by the end of your presentation that she accepted your permission to “drop the bananas.” She contacted me soon after for an appointment to do some planning which included the selling of the family “Century Farm.” A very, very emotional decision on her part that was not likely to have occurred without your presentation.”
Don Forbes, Forbes Wealthy Management
“I just have to say… that your work is amazing and I have never forgotten your teachings from our session in Williams Lake at TRU. It is super important work. I know so many people going through the trauma of succession. I hate to use that word, but I was an “out-law” and know it can get terrible. I continue to forward your emails on to others. Keep doing what you do! You are amazing. You kind of walk into the fire regularly… and with a smile. Proud to have met you.”
Megan, BC Rancher
“As my husband and I eagerly started the course we were optimistic and excited to be taking this next step in our Farm Transition. We were starting to question ourselves and whether or not we were just being selfish and greedy, and if this Farm Transition was still an option for us. We barely got through the first Module and were already having such a huge relief. As we moved through the modulus there were so many times that we just sat back with our hands in the air and thought YES. My husband and I would smile with relief because all of the concerns that we have been struggling with were relevant and came up in the modules. We really enjoyed the course and are excited to move on to the next stages to find our farm resolution.”
Shannon Gilchrist, “Get Farm Transition Unstuck” online course participant
“My hubby farms with 2 brothers and parents, and it’s become a really toxic place. No communication, no respect, etc. Twelve months ago, my husband’s brothers told him they don’t want to work with him anymore and offered him a pay out. His parents did nothing to stop it! He had no choice but to leave. Three months later, we moved off the farm and into town. He has been offered heaps of jobs and is now truck driving and carting hay and grain. We have tried communicating with his parents about what happened but they are not interested. So basically my hubby has lost his family. Very sad but we as husband and wife are overall in a good place and moving on to create our own life. Please continue on with all your wonderful work in helping families on the farm. I continue to tell any farmers I know about you, that they must ‘google’ you, and read your books.”
Donna, Farmer, Australia

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