When we consciously show gratitude we open up to the flow of God’s abundant grace. We are touched and transformed on all levels of our being; spiritual, energetic and material. Our consciousness, our hearts and souls are all expanded, we feel more inspiration and all aspects of life are affected―our relationships, spiritual practices, work and service, finances and money, health and well-being.
“Do not forget when you meet Beauty, beauty of every kind – the gorgeous color of the sunset, the music of birds, the glistening water, the rustling trees, the soft breeze on your face, the warm sun, the joy of love and friendship – to speak your gratitude to the Father within for surrounding you with so much wonder and beauty and for opening your eyes that you might see and enjoy it.”
― Paramhansa Yogananda in East-West Magazine 1933
The American holiday of Thanksgiving, takes place on the last Thursday of this month. Because of this, November has always been “a month of gratitude” for me. A reminder of the importance of giving thanks. First we give thanks to God, but then also to any people or circumstances in our lives that we are grateful for.
Giving is an essential part of gratitude. To give back when we have received something is a natural response for us. What we give back can be as varied as what we receive―a word, a gesture, a note, or a gift―consciously acknowledging that we have received something valuable and are acknowledging it with a grateful heart.
Research on the effects gratitude has on an individual is well documented. This is from the Harvard Medical School, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.“
And this, “People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude). Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone’s gratitude, it’s a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further.”
Twice a month on this page, I will write something on some aspect of life that we all share―our relationships, spiritual practices, work and service, finances and money, health and well-being etc.. Expansion, inspiration and abundance develop as a result of our spiritual efforts. Our gratitude for God’s gifts bring us joy, peace, love and bliss; and these blessings are our spiritual birth-right.
For this “month of gratitude”, and to help us to consciously give thanks, here are some ideas:
- For 2 minutes each day, write down those people you are grateful for in your life.
- Once a week write down what you are grateful for in your life at this time, think about the blessings in your life and feel appreciation for these things and people.
- Say thank you for the things we often take for granted, like good food, fresh air or sunshine etc.
- Count your blessings as often as you can.