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Friday, July 31, 2015

Cultivating Gratitude!


It's a beautiful day in Sacramento California and I hope it is a beautiful day where you are. And it is - you know why? Because you're here, you're alive, you're breathing, that means God is still at work! And for that, we should be thankful.

My favorite and most useful tool in my toolbox has to GRATITUDE! Of all the virtues, gratitude seems to be the least expressed. How often do people go out of their way to thank you? How often do you receive a thank you note when you give a gift? More important, how often do you extend your thanks to others? In our culture of plenty, where everyone feels entitled, we tend to take things for granted.

Being grateful is both a state of mind and perspective. One person’s idea of expressing gratitude may completely contradict another.

Make Gratitude a habit by retraining your brain to think about all there is to be grateful for, in good times or bad, can be life-changing. One of the ways to do this is by viewing each day as a gift. Before the day begins is an excellent time to reflect on all there is to be grateful for. This starts the day with feelings of hope, peace and happiness. You can simply say thank you for the day as soon as you wake up. This puts us right first thing in the morning and starts our day on a good note instead of starting the day out with negative thoughts.

You can also write a gratitude journal, when you jot things down, as opposed to just thinking about them, you are truly taking in each and every one. You aren’t just aware of them, you are acknowledging them. You are pausing and remembering the positives of your day and in your life. You are focusing on a moment in time that you truly appreciated and you are allowing it to sink into your heart and soul. Posting pictures and writing about the things you feel grateful for each day. Gratitude can lead to feelings of love, appreciation, generosity, and compassion, which further open our hearts and help rewire our brains to fire in more positive ways.

Instagram is a perfect tool to remind you of how blessed you are by simply reflecting on your post and friends post.

When we learn to give thanks, we are learning to concentrate not on the bad things, but on the good things in our lives." Says Amy Vanderbilt. Thinking about the good things helps us to be grateful. Remaining grateful helps us to have a positive attitude prompts us to thank about the good rather than the bad. It's a positive cycle that helps fuel itself. If you operate out gratitude you will have no time to be angry. Gratitude is the cure.

Experiencing and expressing gratitude is an important part of any spiritual practice. It opens the heart and activates a new way of thinking.Don’t just think your thanks, show it! Don’t let the kindness of others go unnoticed. Sometimes it’s easy to take for granted the people who are closest to us, but those are the people we should thank the most. Your family, your friends, the ones who love and support you are the ones who should feel your thankfulness the most.

"Thank you, always say thank you; it's the greatest gift you can give someone; because thank you is what you give to God." - Maya Angealou

List five things you are grateful for today.Show your gratitude. Who can you thank today, and how will you show your appreciation? Take a step of faith today and begin to show your thankfulness to those around you. When you feel least thankful, you are most in need of what gratitude can give you: perspective. If you're having a bad day, what is the smallest thing you can be grateful for? If you can think of nothing else, think of your breath. Let it overflow! Sow seeds of gratitude and blessing so you can reap an abundant harvest of blessing in return!