Sunday, October 12, 2008

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is a day to remember all that for which we are grateful. It's our special time to give thanks ... not only for the obvious, like food and our homes, but also for the countless fortunate moments, the multitude of blessings that we receive each year.

For reasons unknown, we often tend to remember the bad things more easily than the good. We can reprogram ourselves to learn a new reflex -- the positive one. With practice we can learn to see the light in our lives first and foremost, and reduce the negativity to mere shadows.

A good way to begin is to start keeping a gratitude journal in which you jot down at least five things for which you are appreciative. It is an effective way of ending your day on a positive note - no matter how the day went - and setting your compass for the next day.

Write down 5 things. You may find that your entries will be very different - depending on the kind of day you had. Some days you will be able to fill pages of experiences and things that made you feel grateful. On other days, you will take great pains to find even 5 things to write about. I have had many of such days. At the end of such a day, my entries are about the most simple of things. " I am grateful for the soft, warm duvet on my bed that brings me comfort and a good sleep" or "I am grateful for the strong hug myhusband gave me after dinner that is a reminder of the love we share", or even "I am grateful for the perfect, hot cup of tea I had after dinner that warmed my insides and relaxed me".

Think of all the good things that happened in your day. Focus on what you have. Think about people you've known that have made you thankful for their existence. They can be family, friends, collegues or even people that you've read about or seen on television.

Think about the animals that have given you joy: Dogs that love you with every inch of their hearts, cats that think your lap is the best place to nap in the whole world, birds whose songs uplift your spirit, squirrels whose antics put a grin on your face and so on.

Think about the places that make you smile: A favorite restaurant, a wooded trail, an exciting city, a great spot from which to view the sky, or walk by the water. Give thanks for all these things.

Today is a day of Thanksgiving ... and I just know that once you start counting your blessings, you will find that you have countless. In our country, most of us are truly fortunate to live in abundance, security, beauty, peace and of course, the best of all - love. For all of this - I am profoundly grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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