The quality of our life experience is directly impacted by the situations and ideas on which we focus. As in meditation, we have the opportunity in each moment to decide on what to place our attention and as we continue to do so, we strengthen our attraction to that focus, whether it is beneficial to us or not.
Our energy goes in the direction of the object of that attention. So the choice that we make will have a significant impact on how we feel, think and act. When we focus mainly on things that creates feelings of discouragement, frustration and upset, we can become disappointed, demoralized and fed up. When we find things to pay attention to that uplift us, encourage and empower us to take positive actions, our whole life can change in an instant.
I am not suggesting that anyone go through their life blind to the difficult realities they are facing. Not at all. But in order to remain present with those challenges, we must balance our experiences with positive, inspiring people, places, ideas and ways of seeing our life.
Which is where gratitude comes in. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful for what you have and who your are, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness from others. It has to do with being able to pay attention and recognize the good things that exist and the blessings present in your life and in the world. This despite the many difficult and upsetting stories in the newspaper every day. Which sadly, end up being effective at sapping our energy, deflating our spirits and demoralizing us.
What if there were newspapers that only told uplifting inspiring stories about people who were kind, generous and giving simply because they were good people and knew how much better it would make them feel to do so?
Gratitude is the ability to see not only the good stuff but also to see the whole picture, that includes and pays homage to that good stuff. It brings a beautiful sweetness to our lives when we intentionally look for what inspires and uplifts us and makes the rest of our day, week and life so much more meaningful and rich!
So just for today, what are YOU grateful for? Take a few minutes and write a list of that people and situations that have brought sweetness and inspiration into your life and while you're at it, pick up the phone (not your e-mail or text) and call someone on your list up and tell them just how much you love appreciate having them in your life. And thank them for what they do and how much they mean to you.
When you show appreciation for someone who has shone a light into your world, you pay it forward and so will they.
May you and yours have a wonderful and sweet Thanksgiving and may you find reasons to be grateful every day!