My Thanksgiving wish is that more of us can become aware of how truly blessed we are. There are so many distractions and disappointments in our lives that sometimes we can become so overwhelmed that we are unable to see what a wonderful life we really do have.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday as it is a time to give thanks for all our blessings. This holiday is also not encumbered by fretting about giving gifts or where to go or what to do. It is a time for my entire family to come together in a special way that only Thanksgiving allows us. I have to wonder why we only have one day a year to give thanks? Maybe we could incorporate it into our lives a bit more.
It has been shown that the emotion of gratitude has the most powerful positive effect on our over well being, happiness, and health. UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, author of Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, says that people who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon things they're thankful for, experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness and even have stronger immune systems.
"Gratitude also opens your eyes to the limitless potential of the universe, while
dissatisfaction closes your eyes to it." Stephen Richards
Gratitude takes us away from our perceived lackings and puts us in touch with a fact that we sometimes forget. We really are whole and complete just the way we are. We were born complete--we didn't bring anything into the world and we will exit this world complete--taking nothing with us. All this stuff we accumulate along the way is just...stuff!
Gratitude places us in the present moment, which is all we really have. The present is a miraculous place if you can get there. Most of our time is spent reflecting about the past, how horrible or wonderful or whatever we make it out to be.. Or we spend our time speculating, usually in fear, how the future will turn out. Both the past and the future are played in our heads and are not reality, only the now is real. Our gratitude is shown in the present!
"Forget yesterday--it has already forgotten you. Don't sweat tomorrow--you haven't even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly
precious gift--today." Steve Maraboli
Let's all try to become more grateful to our loved ones, our friends, our co-workers and those we serve through our businesses. People around you will be happier, more effective and productive. Relationships will thrive in the presence of gratitude.
Here is a poem I wrote for this very special occasion. I hope it brings this all to light. Enjoy!