This one single word changes our entire life. Everyone talks gratitude this time of year. It’s the holiday to be “thankful”. I think it is wonderful that there is a special reminder to take time out of our day to count our blessings. I am not discounting the impact that this day can have on our lives, those of our families and friends and the world at large. G-d knows we all need it.
However, I want to talk more about having appreciation in our lives every day. Gratitude is the number one game changer for happiness and peace. It transcends fear and disappointment. It quiets the unrest and monkey mind. It creates space so faith can grow. It deflects the need to know and allows life to unfold organically.
It invites us to lie down in our own green grass without looking yonder at other pastures. It helps us to step out of our gooey muck and put on our “What’s Right Glasses” and rejoice in the splendor of our lives.
I recognize that wearing the “What’s Wrong Glasses” is our default way of thinking but it keeps us stuck in our stories and in our lives. It keeps us from finding the lessons and cherishing the gifts. It keeps us from rejoicing in what we do have and paying it forward to those less fortunate. Holidays are times to be among loved ones and to feel safe and cozy in the womb of our familiar. But, what about all of those who don’t have that luxury? Those who have lost their loved ones and/or lost their way and don’t have a family or “group” to call home? I want to extend my love to all on this holiday and hope I can open my heart all throughout the year and not just on this one special day.
I have so much to be grateful for this year. I live with excitement and adventure, growing younger all the time; open to learning and change. I am grateful in the wonder of who I have yet to become. It isn’t the things that I’ve acquired that make me full and content. It’s more about the love in my heart for myself and for those in my life. It is for living each day in integrity and caring about others and giving back each and every day: even when life looks different from expected. I am blessed beyond measure. The very last thing I do at night as I drift off to sleep is to name the things I am grateful for and this small practice; turns off the monkey brain and settles me down in to a peaceful sleep. I keep a gratitude jar in my kitchen and add little white folded notes to myself whenever the urge is upon me: reminders on a daily practice of my blessings.
So today I also step back and remember that every choice matters! Every choice I make today, designs my tomorrow. So this is a perfect time to ask myself if there are communications with others I need to complete. If so, I need to clean them up. What a great gift I can give myself. Again the thought to be the relationship I want to have; comes to mind. Stepping in to our power and making peace with any open-ended communication is a beautiful way to add to what we can be grateful for. Is there something incomplete you need to finish?
I end by mentioning a few of the things I am most grateful for: my three beautiful granddaughters who light up my life in unimaginable ways. For my two sons who keep me involved in their lives and their two beautiful (inside and out) wives who support me each and every day. To my parents who amaze me always and whose “cord” I am so happy to be attached to on this earth. To my sisters who have always been an integral part in my life (always because I am the youngest) and have my back. (And vice versa) To all my friends, brand new and old; who are in my heart and to my daily companion, Bella.
I invite you to step in, play big, have more courage, show more love, and be more joyful.
I am grateful, blessed and complete.
Happy Holiday to All.