Gratitude

21 Oct

Tea party with Brynne

Somehow, in the past few months, I got lost in the world of Pinterest and Word Solver on Facebook, had too many late-night TV sessions with my daughter (we’re on a Suits, White Collar, Mentalist and Good Wife kick), which means all my computer time was squandered and I haven’t written one word on this blog in ages!!

But I am still thinking about happiness. I have been thinking a lot about my state of mind and how it affects my happiness…

…and I have discovered that how I choose to look at things goes a long way to determining my overall mood. So, I have been trying to “go with the flow”, attempting to turn my thinking around, and look at my life in a new way. It works. At least, it works most of the time.

I had been pondering these thoughts and thinking about thanksgiving when I found this quote:

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” ~ Johannes A. Gaertner

These words got me thinking — exactly how does one “live gratitude”?

Dr. Jane Bluestein offers “8 Ways to Live in Gratitude” on her website. Check them out here.  Basically, she suggests refraining from complaining, counting your blessings, and simply enjoying your life.

This post about living gratitude from Leo Babauta’s site “Zenhabits”,  Why Living a Life of Gratitude Can Make You Happy  lists some reasons why we should be grateful. I especially liked the prayer at the end of  his post.

Read Marisa Fabrenia’s article, How Gratitude Can Change Your Life,  on The Change Blog for another view of how gratitude can make you happy.

There are many more websites and blogs out there that expound on this topic — if you want to explore, just google “live in gratitude”.

These sites helped me to realize that I was not “living gratitude”, seriously, I was barely speaking gratitude on a daily basis. I was more of a “thanks for all my blessings … please let me win the lottery so I can buy a bigger house, get out of debt, shower my loved ones with gifts, kind of person. I experienced a shift in thinking… I could see that to live in gratitude is to actually see and believe that you are blessed — to acknowledge the good things in your life and to revel in them — celebrate them, and allow the feeling of blessedness to fill your heart.

I am up for trying to embody this new (to me) way of living — to BE truly grateful for all that I have — a loving family, wonderful friends, a roof over my head, food in my pantry and much, much more and (more importantly) to refrain from dwelling on what I do not have. I am beginning to see that the things that I covet are not really the things that I need to be happy, I already have all that I need — I only need to truly look at my life to see that this is true.

Oh, and I also realize that I am human, with very human failings. So, while I know that I will still wish for that big lottery win — I am consciously trying to “live in gratitude”  until it becomes a natural part of my every day life.

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