Canada is celebrating Thanksgiving. A great opportunity to be thankful for everything we have in life.
Saying thanks shouldn’t be limited to a day, but it should be in fact a lifestyle. Acknowledging the blessings is a powerful way to invite more. It multiplies when we take time to know the good things we are already endowed with. For good health, having a roof over our head, family, food, job, and fresh air. For living in one of the greatest countries in the world, the freedom we get to enjoy daily and the ability to be who we are.
Why is Gratitude Important?
But it is not lost on us that we fail to be thankful. Gratitude is replaced by entitlement and it translates into our attitude leaving little room for anything else. I was listening to the sermon at church this weekend and the Pastor had a powerful message to share. He talked about how humans transition quickly from nothingness to entitlement in a short time.
Take, for example, Ms. Jane. She was unemployed. Her life was so difficult, a daily struggle to meet both ends meet. Her finances were tipped low and she didn’t know how to get by. Jane hoped for a job, any job to get her out of this misery. And it seemed God answered her prayers. Jane was able to land employment and things got better for her. She moved into an apartment, managed to pay rent on time and started to save even. Life became pleasant. Months went by. Jane developed a dislike of the work atmosphere. She felt her supervisors are piling work on her, more than she can manage. Jane hated the repetitive nature of the tasks that were in her job duties. It became boring for her. Her grievances list included bad coffee at the vending machine, miserable coworkers, low lighting at the work station and horrible commute.
Jane quickly forgot that this very job came to her as a blessing at a time when she badly needed it. That this job enabled her in ways that weren’t possible before. All of the items on her grievances list were already present when she had accepted the role. Only that those items were on her ” benefits list” at the time. But once Jane became comfortable, her work became a nuisance. And that happened when Jane stopped being grateful. Instead, her attitude changed to entitlement. Entitlement for more, bordering on selfishness. That, in turn, made Jane unhappy and incompetent professionally.
We may never know what happened to Jane after that but what we know for sure is that Jane’s gratitude was running low. She forgot to acknowledge her blessings contributing to much of her unhappiness.
Studies have shown us being thankful plays an important role in being happy. Gratitude triggers positive emotions and good vibes contributing to better health and stronger relationships-classic recipe for happiness.
And do you know what else is the key to happiness? Being present. I have written about this repeatedly on the blog. Showing or feeling thankful for the current moment you are in is a surefire way to experience joy. Rather than worrying about the future or being tormented about what could have been, why not focus on the blessings of the present? Hey, you are alive and breathing. Isn’t that a reason to feel happy AND be thankful for? It sure is.
But yet, we forget this truth. EVERY DAY. We are on a rat race. We accumulate possessions, make decisions based on impulses, our thought process erratic. We forget to breathe, pause. We are always running after something. To make things happen, buy more things, be more things WHEN all we are and have is already enough? That you are enough? Let that sink in.
So, today when you step out, find that sunshine. Go stand there for a minute. Take a deep breath and feel the fresh air filling up your lungs. Acknowledge your body, blood swishing through your veins, all your organs working in tandem to reward you with the wonderful health you have come to enjoy. Your legs work, they can walk you. Your hands are useful, you can do things. Open your eyes and see the world for the first time. How beautiful is it? Look at the trees, flowers come bearing a spirit of their own in where you also share a part? Acknowledge that space. Feel the blessing and show your gratitude. Say thank you.
RELATED: Gratitude is the New Self Care
Smile at a stranger. Smell flowers. How wonderful! Feel your heartbeat in perfect harmony with your thoughts. Once you enter this spiritual plain, you know you are truly living the present. The Present that will amaze you with the Grace you have been receiving all along. But this time you can’t help but acknowledge. You can’t help but be grateful.
Experience gratitude. Happiness will follow.
What are you thankful for?
With love, Vinma
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