I've written often over the years about gratitude as a path to the centered state. When I catch myself feeling uncentered and think of something I'm grateful for, I get lighter, happier, and clearer about my next step.
In my CD, Simple Gifts: Making the Most of Life's Ki Moments, the story about Mimi--my Aunt Mary--is a great example of a woman who practiced gratitude when a bad break at an early age might have pushed her toward negativity and depression. Her ongoing choice to be grateful for what she had, rather than sad about what she didn't, not only made her life more joyful--her choice rubbed off on all around her, especially me. Read the story here. Or you can purchase the CD, which is on sale now on my website as part of the "Conflict as Opportunity" bundle of gifts that include all my books and CDs.
A Path to Center
Thinking about Mimi makes me go deeper and look for more people and things I'm grateful for but sometimes take for granted.
My mother, Lorna, for example, who at 94 continues to teach me how to live a happy life just by being who she is.
My siblings--a brother and three sisters. We've had ups and downs, absolutely, but we're quick to remember the love that binds and sustains us.
My V.A. Tracie Shroyer and I have been partners for 10 years, and I know my work and business would be less without her, as would my day-to-day life.
My husband Jim, who goes about his work and life without asking for much, who supports me, my writing, and my family in uncountable ways.
And what about the "little things" that mostly I don't even notice, unless something goes wrong:
- All my appliances work
- The leaves are raked
- The sun is shining
- I have energy today
- I don’t have a toothache!
The Path of Gratitude
What about you? What are you grateful for in this month of thanks-giving. Take a moment now to think of one thing and see if bringing it to mind makes you smile. Research shows that keeping a gratitude journal or thinking about what you're grateful for as you lie down to sleep or wake each morning can make a big difference in your happiness quotient.
Gratitude can be cultivated. We can get good at it, just like anything else. So, I ask again:
What are you grateful for today?
I'd love to read your answers in the "Comments" below.
Meanwhile -- if you like, click this link and hear me singing "Count Your Blessings" by Irving Berlin.