You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you. –Sarah Ban Breathnach
In the Orthodox Jewish tradition, you are directed to give thanks for everything both large and small. It is called “blessing”. Even though I am not an Orthodox Jew, this is a practice that is very close to my heart.
I have observed recently that the happiest people are those who are the most grateful. They are appreciative, joyful, responsive and manage to focus on what is going well in their lives rather than what is lacking. And research on happiness shows that success comes from happiness not the other way around.
I have decided recently when I wake up to bless as many things as I can. I bless waking up to the birds singing, my hot shower, my oatmeal with raisins and almonds, my morning coffee, my car that always starts, my house that keeps me warm, NPR, my family and friends, my amazing clients, the wonderful people who I meet on my daily errands. As I become more awake and aware, I am constantly in a state of joy and wonder. I am less judgmental and more curious. I feel lighter, more aligned, more empowered and joyful. I guess I feel, just plain happy!
To some the practice of gratitude may seem rather trite. But who doesn’t need a little nudge that helps us to see differently? A little nudge that improves our lives and the lives of everyone we interact with.
And it feels so good. It feels so good to be kinder. It feels so good to focus on what is right instead of what is wrong. It feels delicious to be happy for others, to see the light in everyone, to notice the little things in our daily world that we may let get away.
So my wish for all of us is that thanksgiving becomes a daily ritual. That we don’t forget the lessons of Thanksgiving after the leftovers are consumed and the joy of the holiday is over. That we see every day the sun rises as another opportunity to be grateful.
Brenda Strausz is a holistic psychotherapist with a practice in Southfield, MI. She combines traditional and alternative techniques to help you live with more ease, joy and freedom. Her belief in the healing power of love and forgiveness guides her work. She can be reached through her website at www.BrendaStrausz.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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