Thanksgiving has recently been celebrated in America, an almost unique stance for a nation to take, a national day to take stock of, and be thankful for, what we have been given.
But how many passed this time in true reflection and grace, sharing a joyous time with family, and how many used it as an excuse for greed and gluttony in a similar way to which many celebrate Christmas time, succumbing to commercialism, bargain hunts and the rush for Black Friday deals and bargains.I won’t dwell on that, my intent is to focus on the broader concept of Gratitude as a daily approach to life.
Each and every one of us has reason to express gratitude on a daily basis, no matter what our station in life. At the fundamental level we can be grateful just for the simple act of breathing, we have life and therefore potential. Many will complain that their lives are in a bad place, yet there is always a blessing; nobody can descend so low that they cannot see a situation worse than their own in some way, perhaps in a different way, but nevertheless less fortunate.
It is well to meditate upon the following proverb “I used to complain about having no shoes until I met a man with no feet.” The depth of meaning goes far beyond the example given by the words.
Indeed, we would need to be in a very dark state to have nothing to be grateful for.
So what can you gain and share from being grateful and how can you embrace it?
To be grateful on a regular basis is a life enhancing experience, it will change you. Gradually all negativity fades, you become energised, limitless and at peace with yourself. The reality is that you are surrounded by abundance, whether or not you recognise it. If you can recognise it with the benefit of gratitude your life will begin to unfold, in every aspect. Thus opportunity opens up; to excel, to create, to be truly happy, to give and to love. To dwell in the miracle of life, right now.
How can you practice and achieve this state of gratitude? Here is one way; everyday for the next week, set aside a few moments at the same time each day. Whether it is before sleep (the best time), when you awake or at midday, just make it consistent. In those few moments write down three things you are grateful for over the past day. The act of writing down helps make the statements real and meaningful to the mind, far better than just thinking about them.
Highlight different aspects of your life each day, the smallest of things have as much power as the larger. For example, gaining a new job would obviously rank high, but so does opening the curtains in the morning and feeling the warmth of the sun; take joy from every moment. Write it down and realise that you have so many things to be grateful for!
And that is it, by taking these few minutes each day I guarantee you will notice a change before the end of the week. Once you feel that, you have taken another step on the road to fulfilment which will change your life.
A few minutes a day, take the challenge!