Thanksgiving is one of my favorite Holidays. I look forward to it all year long. I love the time with my family, the traditions we have, and of course the bountiful autumn meal we share. But I also love when we all get a chance to say what we are thankful for. It always leaves me feeling such a sense of joy and happiness – like light is radiating out of my heart!
But what about the other 364 days a year? Have you ever wondered why we save being thankful, or grateful, for only one designated day a year? What if, on the other hand, we focused on being grateful every day, and got to experience the bliss that comes from living a life of gratitude? Imagine how joyful each day would be. Imagine the miracles that would manifest in your life.
But what does it mean to practice giving gratitude every day? Gratitude. It’s one of those words that is familiar yet awkwardly foreign at the same time. We’ve all heard of gratitude, of being grateful, and most of us know what it means on the surface. But I have come to learn that living a life of gratitude and knowing what it means are two entirely different things.
Many people engage in what I like to call “convenient gratitude.” What do I mean by that? I mean that aside from on Thanksgiving, most people give gratitude only when convenient—especially for the big things in life, or when unexpected gifts suddenly enter their lives. These usually include things big enough or powerful enough to force people to stop, think, be appreciative, and give thanks for what has happened or has been given to them. But this approach to gratitude means that gratitude is a fleeting thing, that it comes and goes. It means that something must first be worthy of our thanks and appreciation for us to grant it gratitude.
Living a conveniently grateful life is where most of us are. It is where I was at one point as well. But so many of us fail to realize that the true power of living a life full of gratitude has a remarkable impact on transforming our lives from one of scarcity and lack to one of utter abundance—abundance of love, joy, happiness, and yes, of course, wealth.
In its most simplistic terms, gratitude is defined as “a feeling of appreciation or thanks.” The problem with this definition is that most people do not feel grateful every moment of every day. They don’t recognize the things—all things, big and small—that they should be grateful for. Most people are oblivious to the beautiful miracles happening all around them throughout the day, and they don’t even recognize that they should be grateful in the first place.
But once you shift your mindset to become focused on the blessings that occur in your life all day long—and give deliberate and focused gratitude to them—your life will begin to transform. You will find yourself looking for these miracles and pausing momentarily to express your gratitude to and for them. You will notice that you’ve started smiling more, started feeling more uplifted. You will walk with your head up and eyes wide open, waiting for every opportunity to be consciously grateful; and by doing so, you will actually attract more and more things into your life to be grateful for. One of my favorite sayings is this: “The more you are grateful for what you have, the more you will have to be grateful for.” Perfect. According to spiritual teacher, thinker, and author Michael Bernard Beckwith, “Nothing new can come into your life unless you are grateful for what you already have.”
There are miracles happening all around us every single day, miracles that until now, you may have been oblivious to the miracle of nature, the miracle of the human body, the miraculous workings of the universe, the migration of birds, the rotation of the planets, the reproduction of life, your breath, your beating heart, all happening miraculously, yet effortlessly, at the same time. The examples are endless. We need only to be grateful for them and aware of them in order to experience their magical power.
When you begin to be grateful for these everyday miracles, you will notice that more and more miracles seem to come into your life. The way you walk through life changes. The curtain of blurriness begins to lift, and behind it you see a world more beautiful than your eyes can truly fathom. Things become crisper, clearer. You smile more because you marvel at these miracles all day long, and you find yourself anxiously looking for the next bit of magic around every turn.
It is my hope that you harness the power of gratitude at your core because a grateful soul will be a magnet for miracles.
With love and gratitude,