Gratitude Thinking for Peace and Serenity
What are you thankful for? As Thanksgiving Day approaches, we are making plans for family dinners, anticipating the rush of the holiday season, and possibly allowing the stress to mount. What if we could be really centered this year, and approach the season with a true sense of gratefulness and appreciation? We might feel much calmer, more present, and actually be able to enjoy ourselves completely.
Many years ago, my spiritual mentor, Agnes, asked us to keep a “Gratitude Journal,” a private notebook that we could write in as often as possible, noting the things that we were thankful for and why. It is amazing that when we do this simple exercise for a period of time, we become more acutely aware of the many things around us to be grateful for. I would like to honor Agnes with deepest gratitude for all that she has shared, taught and exemplified for me, as she prepares to pass peacefully from this life.
In her book The Magic, Rhonda Byrne has a series of exercise that promote living a life of gratitude. Actually, 28 consecutive days of exercises, that if completed, will transform your mind into positivity. One of my favorites is called “The Magic Rock.” It helps us to fall asleep with thoughts of saying thank you for the BEST thing that happened this day. We sleep better without the stress and worry of the woulda/shoulda/couldas that tend to permeate our minds.
If we were to make a list of all that we are grateful for, at the top of my list would be the amazing people in my life, having a warm, loving home with two crazy cats, a business that is deeply fulfilling, and the events that continually challenge me to grow. Having been taught the concept of gratitude thinking, I rise every morning and send a prayer of gratitude for all that I am grateful for. Somehow, it seems to magically transform my days into peace-filled focus in spite of some chaos around me. Most days anyway. :~)
I encourage you to think of those special people and things that you are grateful for, from your faithful pet, to your trusty car, to your dearest friend. Make a list if it is helpful to you, and think often about all that gives you joy. As this festive season unfolds, allow yourself to make decisions that come from a place of appreciation, so that your choices are guided by the love you feel inside—instead of being run over by external stress and pressure. Then, take a moment to share your appreciation with another. We could all use a little positive boost.
I am ever grateful for you.
“The reasons to practice gratitude and appreciation are that gratitude is an internal phenomenon while appreciation is external. They both have benefits.” Daniel Amen, M.D.