“If you do not create change, change will create you.” -Unknown
As the leaves change and the weather gets cooler, it brings change of season and a beginning of something new. It also starts the month of “Gratitude
Having gratitude can change your life. “If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart
Gratitude is critical on the climb to your dreams. “Instead of looking at how hard you still have to go, sometimes you have to look back and see how far you have come.” The privilege of a life time is to be who you are.
At one point in my own life, gratitude was far from my mind. I had a difficult time finding any way to feel grateful when so much struggle, challenges and loss surrounded me for years. Gratitude has become a practice in my life. Something that I choose to take the time to pause and reflect on. To often moments pass by, quickly without any recognition of the beautiful gifts they have just bestowed upon us. A smile from a stranger lifting our mood. The guy in front of you holding the door open, just for you. The laughter that rings out when you gather with friends. The love of family that holds you close in good times and in bad. All of these moments are beautiful and deserve to be recognized. When I take the time to show gratitude for them they become that much sweeter and get engrained even deeper into my heart.
I recently had the experience of travelling with students to watching a documentary on “20 years after the Rwanda genocide.” It was amazing to me how these individuals where grateful for the little they had, even after the horrific, and tragic experience they went through. For them life change drastically and beyond what most of us could even imagine, let alone live. They lost families, land, social assistance, financial gain, and most of all, dignity. Yet through all that, they pulled together and found gratitude in the little that they had. Together they joined and found ways to help each other out when one was in need.
“Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.”
A common method to develop the practice of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal, a concept that was made famous by Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book “Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude”. Another idea, which I love and my daughter shares in this love, is a “gratitude stone.” You can look for your stone at a place you are fond of – maybe a special park, a trail you like, or even in your own back yard. Basically, just look for a stone that looks good and feels good to you.
I hold it in my hand at night, right before bed. As I hold it, I think of all the things that happened that day that I am thankful for. I must pick one thing that happened during that day that made me the happiest – that I am the most grateful for. It can be something small or something big.
When you do this, you are forming a habit of showing gratitude instead of feeling ungrateful. Instead of thinking about how this or that went wrong or all of the things that are wrong in your life, you are forming the habit of thinking peaceful and happy thoughts!
A Pray of Gratitude
“Gracious God, in the busy-ness of my day, I sometimes forget to stop to thank you for all that is good in my life.
My blessings are many and my heart is filled with gratitude for the gift of living, for the ability to love and be loved, for the opportunity to see the everyday wonders of creation, for sleep and water, for a mind that thinks and a body that feels.
I thank you, too, for those things in my life that are less than I would hope them to be. Things that seem challenging, unfair, or difficult. When my heart feels stretched and empty, and pools of tears form in my weary eyes, still I rejoice that you are as near to me as my next breath and that in the midst of turbulence, I am growing and learning.
In the silence of my soul, I thank you most of all for your unconditional and eternal love.”
There are simply things you can do in your daily life to start practising Gratitude.
Start with just one day of practising gratitude Link:
For more resources Link http://tinybuddha.com/blog/10-powerful-benefits-of-change-why-embrace-it/
My wish for you all is to find gratitude in your everyday, starting with your waking hour. Allow gratitude to move you through situations and circumstances that challenge your joy for life. There is always something to be “Grateful” for.
Lots of Love for a practice of “Gratitude” in this month of Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
Peace of I