by Diane Haworth
While we're all busy with our Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving plans this week, I thought it was important to remember why gratitude is a vital component of our happiness and key to spiritual growth. Here's my take:
3 Reasons Why Gratitude Changes Everything
#1 - When you look for things in your life to be grateful for, the good seems to multiply. Although I didn't understand it at the time, learning to be aware of what I was truly grateful for on a daily basis was a key element in turning my life around at a very dark time in my past. My friend and mentor, Dr. Robert Holden, expresses it this way:
"Before we practice gratitude, we appear to be in the dark with very little to be grateful for. Once we begin, a new light dawns, sometimes a brilliant light, a light as bright as heaven itself."
That's exactly how it happened for me. Deep in my heart I'd always believed Love ruled the world even though I wasn't allowing myself to experience that during this rough time. I had read a way to retrain your brain to see the "good" in life was to begin a gratitude practice. And so I began and the result was magic! The more I consciously decided to look for at least three things a day to be thankful for, I experienced - even in challenging times - an awareness of the love and goodness that surround me. All I had to do was open my eyes and heart!
#2 - Gratitude is a doorway to the divine. Nothing has been more humbling than an increased awareness of the divine force that coordinates all the good that is constantly available to me and everyone else.
"Gratitude is a sacred space where you allow and know a force greater than your ego is always at work and always available." - Dr. Wayne Dyer
A thankful heart opens you up to accept the divine love that is always available, as Wayne Dyer says in the quote above. Why is that important? Because the energy of that divine love is intelligent, creative and expansive. If it can make the tide go in and out, the flowers bloom and create entire galaxies it can gracefully move you through any life challenge. Trust that divine love is more powerful than your ego and allow it to guide your actions to experience real love in your life.
#3 - Gratitude makes life more fun and fulfilling. Deciding to live from a grateful heart just makes life more FUN! You feel more satisfied, playful, energized and creative in so many ways. Why? Because love expands all good in your life! This quote from author Melody Beattie explains is well:
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend."
Who doesn't want a happier life with more joy and fulfillment? A consistent daily gratitude practice does that and more. And it doesn't cost a thing. All you need is a willingness to begin. Love does the rest. :)
Want ideas on how to start your gratitude practice? Check out my ebook "Living from a Grateful Heart: 10 Gratitude Practices for Individuals, Families and Groups." You should have gotten this as a download when you signed up for this newsletter. (If you're a long time subscriber, you may have signed up before this was the current offer. Just email me at Diane@DianeHaworth.com and I'll forward one to you.) It's also available on AMAZON if you'd like to suggest it to friends or family.
My son, Kyle, helped me demonstrate some easy gratitude activities that would be fun for your Thanksgiving gathering. The free 30 minute video is available HERE. Let me know if you use any of our tips!
I've also been posting short daily gratitude videos that prompt you to think about new ways to practice thankfulness on my Facebook page. Catch up on those HERE.