It is easy to feel grateful for a national holiday dedicated to counting your blessings with family around a traditional turkey feast.
Heck, it is easy to feel grateful for a day off, period.
With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up on November 28th in the United States, anyone enjoying the extra day to play should be in high spirits. And while the idea of such an annual festivity is beautiful, it is the constant practice of gratitude that holds the power to change our lives in magical and miraculous ways.
I would know.
Years ago, when I was summoning all my spiritual strength to battle a deep depression, keeping a gratitude journal helped me emerge a victorious warrior.
Armed with an arsenal of sacred weapons—also including, prayer, meditation, mantras, mindfulness, affirmations, yoga and energy healing—I was able to slay the inner demons that had dragged me into the hell of hopelessness.
For a while, I did not actually embody the feeling of gratitude even as I wrote the things I was thankful for. But knowing that I had to write things I was grateful for forced my doom-and-gloom primed mind to notice the blessings it otherwise would have missed or dismissed.
Then, one day, the black hole I felt in my chest started feeling less heavy. As I continued to give thanks for the ever expanding lightness, weight of depression lifted completely and every part of my life transformed.
During that dark night of the soul, gratitude became a sprit-saving ray of light. I learned, as inspirational author Louise Hay writes, that “gratitude brings more to be grateful about. It increases your abundant life. Lack of gratitude or complaining brings little to rejoice about.”
I had allowed myself to become stuck in self-pity, and in doing so, kept attracting experiences that reinforced my pessimistic inner monologue.
As I diligently uprooted the weeds of sabotaging patterns, I replaced them with seeds of gratitude that flourished into blessings beyond my highest hopes.
Such is the magic of gratitude.
As we make the shift from complaining to celebrating, from giving in to giving thanks, we invite the universe to heal our wounds, transcend our pain and uplift our lives. In the act of consciously counting the good in our lives, we affirm the constant support flowing to us.
We align ourselves more fully with the ultimate source of all good.
If you are ready to embrace the gifts of gratitude, here are some practices to get started:
From Start to Finish:
Silently or aloud, let “thank you” be the first and last words you say every day. As this becomes a habit, you’ll enjoy deeper, sweeter sleep at night and dreamier days.
Write it Out:
Every time you notice something to give thanks for, jot it down in your phone or a pocket notebook. Whenever you feel low, browse through your entries to instantly uplift your spirit.
Say it Loud, Say it Clear:
Thank every person who does anything for you throughout the day. Sometimes we take people who contribute to our day-to-day needs for granted, so showing them sincere appreciation acknowledges their efforts and brings joy to both.
Once a week, go beyond “Liking” the post of someone in your circle, and send them a personal message expressing something you appreciate about them.
Thank Now, Receive After:
When you are working on manifesting a desire, give thanks for its fruition as if it I s already here. This demonstrates your absolute faith to the universe that your intention will manifest, and the universe will deliver.
Thank the Not-So-Good:
We do not naturally feel grateful for our challenges, but there are gifts within the most trying experiences. When we give thanks for the lesson in any situation, we free ourselves of that condition and open to blessings that are much easier and more fun to give thanks for.
As we practice gratitude on all these different levels, we attract even more to be thankful for.
If we’re working on healing a negative pattern, gratitude becomes the golden ladder to help us rise above it. If we are co-creating our desires, giving thanks for every blessing we already have and for the slightest sign that our dream is unfolding elevates us that we may experience its manifestation. As Wayne Dyer teaches, “Gratitude is your expression of acknowledging the oneness of the universal energy working in cooperation with your desires.”
So, whether or not you’re celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, I hope you will give thanks each day, and as I learned to, welcome all the magic and miracles of living a grateful life.
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Assistant Ed: Jes Wright/Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo credit: Phil Koch (Pixoto)