10 Tips: Cultivating An Attitude Of Gratitude & Thanksgiving
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Want to be Happy? Be Grateful? Brother David Steindl-Rast
When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears. Anthony Robbin
In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you. Anon
Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. E.P. Powell
No woman can control her destiny if she doesn’t give to herself as much as she gives of herself. Suze Orman
In daily life we must learn that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy. Brother David Steindl-Rast
1. Begin each day with an expression of Thanks… Thank your body, your mind, your space, your Creator, all around you and all who you will be in contact with each day
2. Cultivate an attitude of giving thanks and giving back. Perform a random act of goodwill in thought, deed and action every day. A smile, a quiet prayer for someone else, a helping hand, a compliment, volunteering time, a gift, and even a call will help us help others.
3. Make a commitment to remember the grace in small things and to trust that disappointments are lessons
4. Be Present in your life and exchanges with others and see the grace in your interactions.
Today, I reached for an old copy of my Oprah Winfrey’s – O, The Oprah Magazine – from November 2014, on The Power Of Gratitude. I had kept it because it was rich with insightful articles and sharing on Gratitude and Thanksgiving. It got me thinking about what has buoyed my spirit these past few years as I struggled to move my life in a new direction. Sometimes, we forget that it’s the little things that get us going and help us make incremental leaps in our lives. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am sharing 10 tips that have served me well. Do we have bad, down days? Of course, it is part of our life experiences to have ups and downs, and the key is to reflect, respond, and release the stuff. When we take time to express our gratitude and give/share it to others, more of the grace that gratitude inspires will come knocking on our door. Above and below, I have shared 10 Tips to help us all cultivate a spirit of active gratitude.
When a house is on fire,
the vessel salvaged
is the one that will be of use,
not the one left there to burn.
So when the world is on fire
with aging and death,
one should salvage [one’s wealth] by giving:
what’s given is well salvaged. Buddha
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey
Gratitude is our ability to see the grace of God, morning by morning, no matter what else greets us in the course of the day. Craig Barnes
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy
Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside. No matter what is going on outside of us, there’s always something we could be grateful for. Barry Neil Kaufman
Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. Lionel Hampton
5. Cultivate a spirit of forgiveness; Learn to forgive others, to let go of judgements, old hurts and slights
6. Be grateful for all the good that has crossed your path; the mentors, good Samaritans, friends, family and strangers
7. Maintain a journal and/or write a list of things you are grateful for each day. It could be 1-5 or more. Read: Oprah’s Gratitude Journal
In addition to the many vignettes shared in that November issue, O, The Oprah Magazine, staffers asked a number of contributing writers/editors to fill in the blanks to a number of questions. The questions also gave me a chance to reflect and be reminded that we don’t journey through life alone. We all meet guides and helpers along the way; both good and bad ones. Instead of being resentful about our bad experiences, we must learn to forgive and move forward. By forgiving others, we forgive ourselves and release the hatred and anger we hold inside. Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget? Remember: They are all teachers/teachings on the path to wisdom and growth and we must be grateful for all of our experiences. Variety is what makes life’s lessons richer. Here are the questions and you can answer them in the comments or write them in your journal.
A. I’ll never stop being grateful for…..
B. My favorite way to say Thank you is….
C. The best Thank you I’ve ever received was….
D. When I was a kid, I didn’t realize how grateful I should have been for….
Come back later for my answers
“The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.” Robert Holden
Happiness cannot be far behind a grateful heart and a peaceful mind. Anon
Gratitude, like faith, is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it grows, and the more power you have to use it on your behalf. If you do not practice gratefulness, its benefaction will go unnoticed, and your capacity to draw on its gifts will be diminished. To be grateful is to find blessings in everything, This is the most powerful attitude to adopt, for there are blessings in everything. Alan Cohen
Gratitude and complaining cannot coexist simultaneously. You must choose the one that best serves you. Hal Elrod
Wealth can also be that attitude of gratitude with which we remind ourselves everyday to count our blessings. Chris Gardner
8. Take stock of your struggles and successes; applaud your progress and forgive your missteps
9. What makes you happy? Are you where you want to be? Write it down and create a collage of your dreams/goals from old magazines and printouts.
10. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude by celebrating the life you have instead of waiting for the life you want. Celebrate the good and bad days, the ups and downs and the struggles that have sharpened your understanding and mellowed the fire in your belly. Celebrate!
The more we view our experiences as gifts, and express gratitude for them, the greater our chance of receiving more gifts of grace. Our actions and participation are important aspects of the work needed to create more of it. All we do in life, every action, thought, word, and belief we hold is part of an effort to connect with that joyful, happy place inside our being and an attitude of gratitude solidifies it all. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and Holiday Season!
“Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.” Samuel Smiles
This post was also inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: I Can’t Stay Mad at You: Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget?
Positive Motivation Tip: Be Grateful for the breath you take and all you experience and say thank you!
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Copyrighted and from my Personal Collection