Practice Gratitude (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 64)
“Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.”
— Pearl S. Buck
Gratitude is an idea that is often misunderstood. Some people say it is a feeling or emotion. Others say it is a tool to make one’s life better and more fulfilling. Still other people say it is a daily practice of mindfulness and awareness. All of this might be true in some regard, but gratitude at its very core is a way of life and a way of facing challenges and overcoming them.
Gratitude is a sharp lens of reality. It allows us to open our hearts and minds to accept things and people as they are and appreciate the fact that we are all works in progress. As much as we might try, we will never be completely perfect or get it all right. As we enter and exit each day, we strive for improvement and enable ourselves to be a part of creating all the good that is possible in life.
Counting your blessings does not happen automatically. It happens intentionally. Saying thanks is important, but it is not the only thing. Being grateful in attitude, spirit, speech, thoughts, and behavior is equally as important. This is when gratitude becomes not just a matter of words, but a way of life. It is an outpouring of the heart that awakens us and motivates us to action.
One of the greatest things we can ever do in our pursuit of living the best life possible is to embrace every situation as if it is the best. To be who we are and to appreciate who others are is one of the deepest freedoms. Practicing gratitude on a daily basis opens the door to an immense amount of wisdom, joy, and abundant living. Stop stressing, stop waiting for something greater, stop defining life by what you don’t have. Look at your life and at the things and people around you and realize there is already so much to be thankful for.
“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
— Martha Washington