Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
— Robert Brault
You may have noticed I like to write about gratitude. I think it's because gratitude is one way I center myself, remember what's important in my life, and return to the present moment.
This time of year, in particular, as we head into Thanksgiving and the December holidays, I ask myself and my readers to think about the ways we are already blessed, things we may be blind to because they’re always there, and to name them.
What comes to mind for you: family? friends? work? favorite pets? Is it a nice day out? Are your windows open to the fresh air? Can you breathe in and out with ease? Can you walk without assistance? Are there people in your life who love you, and you love them back? Have you told them recently?
If you look around, you can probably name one thing right away. And once you name that one thing, another will probably spring to mind, and then another. And pretty soon you're feeling pretty good.
Our Brain is Moldable
Current research tells us the human brain bends toward negativity. Because protecting ourselves has been so important throughout human history, we tend to look first for what might endanger our health and well-being--we see the snake before we see the sunset.
Meanwhile, the science of neuroplasticity reveals that our brain is "plastic," moldable, regardless of age. What we think about influences our reality. So why not teach ourselves to look for the good, the positive, the blessings--in people, in ourselves, and in our environment?
It only takes a bit of practice, it's not hard, and it leads to a lighter, happier quality of life. With each grateful thought, we reinforce the gratitude pathway in the brain.
So, in this month of Thanksgiving, what are you thankful for in your life? Make time each day--not only on Thanksgiving--to cultivate gratitude and let it inform this moment, this day, your life. It is a gift in itself to be grateful.
I get a daily reminder from the website Notes from the Universe. The mantra that comes with each reminder says:
Thoughts become things. Choose the good ones.
Catch yourself in your thinking. Choose the good thoughts, and ....
A little gift from Rosemary Clooney and the movie, "White Christmas."
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