As we approach the month of November, most of us are making plans of some sort to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. We collaborate with family and friends on dinner plans and family gatherings. It’s the one time of year we are explicitly reminded to give thanks. Although It is good that a day has been set aside for this, but it is up to each and every one of us to be “giving thanks” every day, all year long.
It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life and forget that there is still something to be thankful for daily. Sometimes we look around at our financial situation and think that there is nothing to be thankful for. Or we look at our relationship or health challenges and think that giving thanks borders on the absurd. Yet, if we really take a look around us, we can see that we are not alone in our trials, that many others are facing similar problems. There is no exception for trials and tribulations just as no one is exempt from living a life filled with true joy and happiness. But it’s unrealistic to be in a state of happiness when the world is weighing on your shoulders, right? How do you find happiness during the storm? You find it through gratitude.
Having an attitude of gratitude is a mind shift that turns your focus on the things that matter the most to you. The things that bring you a sense of joy. When we look away from our problems, even for a short time, and generate joy in our hearts, we find that the world seems to change a bit. How can something so seemingly simple make such a big difference? Well, ask yourself this – do you really need a psychological blueprint to convince you to feel good enough to be thankful? The answer is NO, you don’t because there is plenty for you to be thankful for right in front of you and the universe seems to respond quickly to a grateful heart. We attract the things we focus on. The way it works is that when we break focus with our problems and we take a break from being miserable, the River of Life flows more gently and more fully through our being.
So instead of waiting until the table is set, and family is present to give thanks, stop what you’re doing for one or two minutes, quiet your mind and begin to say to yourself thank you! During this minute or two, think of two or three things or events you are or should be grateful for. Feel how fortunate you are to have them. For example, I consider myself extremely blessed to have our daughter and a husband that is dedicated to his family. Yes, there are moments of chaos when I think to myself that children were created for the sole purpose of making parents crazy or that men really are from Mars. Yet, with all the ups and downs of being a mother and wife, I consider myself the most fortunate person on earth to have a teenage daughter that will say, “thanks mom” and still lays in any nook she can find next to me. And a husband that lights up when he sees me, reminding me that I must be something he is thankful for. They have taught me patience, understanding, and how to give unconditional love. I could not be who I am without the experience of being mother and wife. For this, I’m grateful and I give thanks. That is the kind of mind shift being thankful is capable of and it is free, yet priceless when it comes to aligning yourself to manifest the things you focus on.
What about unfortunate situations? Are we supposed to be thankful for misfortune or tragedy? Am I happy or grateful that my mom died when she was only 55 years old? Should I be thankful that I was left with a ton of unanswered questions about things that I learned after her passing?
Of course not! But I am grateful the time did we spent together. She was my best friend and I am grateful for her love, for her kindness and compassion and for making it possible for me to be what I am today. We could all turn tragedy into triumph and disaster into divine outcomes if we maintain a spirit of gratitude and if we listen to our heart and soul. It is in our quiet times, in our “thanksgiving” moments that we can hear the universe sing to us. If we listen carefully, we can hear it say, “You are my child and I love you dearly. Look around you. All that I have is yours. Everything is yours. It always has been. Please unwrap your gifts.”