Take the time to say ‘thank you’
Vail, CO, Colorado
“Gratitude is heaven itself.”
” William Blake
When you think of being grateful, what comes to mind? Are you grateful for your family, grateful for your health, grateful for having a roof over your head? These are wonderful things.
When was the last time you were grateful for you? When was the last time you were grateful for waking each morning? When was the last time you were grateful for loving yourself?
Gratitude or grace is a practice in itself. When we recognize how special we are, how divine we truly are or even something as seemingly meaningless as recognizing a negative thought, say thank you. Recognize your pets, your children, your home, your car and begin to say “thank you” for all you have. At that moment, we are in gratitude. It only takes a moment, and what a beautiful gift to your being and to your higher source. Take a moment and, quietly, in one breath, say thank you and expect nothing in return.
Gratitude enables us to experience the sheer joy of being alive! November is the perfect month to begin a practice of gratitude. From today until Thanksgiving Day, begin your own gratitude practice. Start by giving thanks for the things close at hand. As we move closer to the feast day at the end of the month, extend the boundaries of your thanks-giving to others. If that feels good, then give yourself permission to feel grateful for the rest of the year, next year and for the rest of your life.
I find practicing gratitude to be beneficial in my life. Before I go to sleep each night I say thank you for my day, no matter what the day was like ” good or bad. When I wake in the morning, I say thank you for waking up (I’m over 50, so waking up is a good thing ” ha!) and that today will be a better day than yesterday. Again, no matter what yesterday was like, I have the opportunity to make each day better.
This is how I set up my day ” not from a daytimer and not with what-do-I-have-to-do-today energy. It sets up in my mind that I have a choice to have a more positive day. Life will come at you, people will react and things will happen that will try and change your new positive attitude that you set up at the beginning of your day. That’s when you use this practice more than ever. Take a breath and remember the choice you made in the morning and say “thank you.” This may take a few times before you notice how it changes the way you used to react or act in life, but you will begin to see how different things can be.
We are all so hard on ourselves. We have such high expectations for who we think we are and who we think we can be or should be. Why is right now not good enough? We are always on the lookout for a new us, a new thing, a new job, or a new partner. We have been given this body, this face, and these circumstances in order to grow in acceptance of our divine being, and acceptance of others. Be grateful for who you are, what you have and for your friends and family (no matter what the dynamics) at this moment.
When we feel grateful for who we are, we begin to speak to others from our hearts, and we treat others much more gently because we feel better about ourselves. To learn the grammar of gratitude, practice saying “thank you” for happy and challenging experiences, for people, for animals, things, memories and dreams. Count your blessings and express your appreciation to everything and everyone you encounter. By blessing, we are blessed.
Catherine Zeeb holds a doctorate of philosophy in metaphysics. She teaches metaphysical classes at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards. E-mail comments or questions about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.