“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” Arthur Ward
Isn’t wonderful that we, as a nation, take a day to give thanks Of course, I do find my appreciation of that is somewhat offset by the next day of unbridled, Black Friday and Cyber Monday consumerism! It seems that we often express our gratitude in brief stints. It’s not surprising when we look around at the influences surrounding us.
We are bombarded with images of objects that we are encouraged to want and buy, playing on our materialistic wants and desires. We are flooded with stories of murder, terror and political shenanigans, playing on our fear and skepticism. We are frequently urged to hate Mondays, be happy it’s humpday and heave a sigh of relief when the weekend arrives as though working is, by default, something to be dreaded.
Imagine how different it would be to wake up every day and appreciate what you already have. What if you read an uplifting story instead of the latest murder details? What if you looked at your job with a positive outlook and be happy for at least one aspect of it? What if you made it a point to say a spontaneous thank you to at least one person every day?
Where our focus goes, our energy flows. When we are grateful, we are more positive. When we focus on what we don’t have or when we negatively compare ourselves to others, that negative emotion shuts us down to possibilities and opportunities. It drains us of needed energy.
Being grateful creates warm feelings that energize us, make us more optimistic. We lift our heads up and look around with a smile. I love this quote from Oprah Winfrey: The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.
Take a minute to reflect on where you spend your energy. I have realized that this is what is meant by self-fulfilling prophecies. What we look for is what we create. If you are not creating what you want in your life, it’s a strong possibility that you are looking down instead of up. I know this sounds simplistic but taking a step back to really think about what we are focusing on can be very revealing.
I am focused right now on helping you, as you read this, take a minute to see and appreciate all the gifts you’ve been given. I am intent on bringing some light and joy to the world in any way I can.
I have found that when I focus on life positively, I find that I am surrounded by supportive people who care about me. I find opportunities come my way. I smile more often. I sing to myself. I experience more peace and joy. Conversely, when I surround myself with supportive and positive people, it’s much easier to be positive myself.
Taking this one step further, expressing gratitude to those around you is not only a great way to help others, but yourself at the same time. When we say thank you to someone else, we lift our own spirits as we lift theirs.
As we go through this holiday season, I will mean it when I say Peace and Joy unto you. Being grateful is one of quickest and surest way to finding that peace and joy. I hope you take the time to stop and appreciate all that you have. It’s a wonderful gift to give to yourself and those around you!