For just an hour – a day – if you can sustain it – practice gratitude and appreciation. If we can all turn our emotions to the good in our lives, to the love in our lives and take all that energy and place it there – well, no telling what can come of that!
Today we have Thanksgiving meals and soon we will be welll into the leftovers – the turkey sandwiches and if you are lucky, you still have some dressing and gravy. That’s my favorite part!
Here is an exercise I do whenever I feel troubled by negativity around me. Take of some paper and pencil – or open a new document in your computer (which is what do). Begin to make a list of all the things you are grateful for. It shouldn’t be hard. Most of us did some of this a couple of days ago. As you think of things, they will prompt you to think of other things. Soon a good memory will come up followed by more. Feelings of loving appreciation will begin to flow toward those who participated in the good times with you. You may even find some forgiveness welling up for yourself and others for the bad times. Keep writing until you have it all out there in front of you. Most of us could easily have fifty things on that list. As you are writing these things out, if you are like me, you will feel your heart lighten and brighten with good feelings – loving feelings. This is gratitude. This swelling up of feeling inside us – this is our awareness of feeling blessed. This gratefulness feels lovely.
However, we need to do more. Appreciation. Appreciation is gratitude expressed! Look over your list. Where in that list is an opportunity to express appreciation? Are there events that included others – others who are still present in your life? Can you tell them how much they mean to you? What about family members, friends, co-workers, even your boss at work – are there feelings of gratitude there that can be expressed?
We so often find these feelings of gratitude, but do we express them? Can we use our feelings of gratitude and express them to those who helped in those memories? Who participated in that event or who are those who make each day of our lives better?
Can we go to them and let them know how we feel? Can we write to them, email or even better, pick up the phone and call them?
It seems to me that just feeling our gratefulness is only half the process. How wonderful if we can take our gratitude and share it with anyone on our list who contributed to creating these warm, loving feelings.
We can all be participants in a brave new world, one in which we are kind to each other. A world where we express love and kindness and where we acknowledge our debt to each other and express our thanksgiving, first in our hearts and then outwardly with our words and deeds. Our gratitude and the showing of appreciation has the power to change lives. The opposite of gratitude and appreciation is like a disease that steals away our contentment and fills our life with emptiness and despair.
We all have a choice in how we wish to use our energy. We can contribute to the negative in the world. We can criticize, moan, groan and complain when we can be grateful. We can appreciate what truly brings us joy and then take our positive energy out into the world and make a difference. This energy is needed RIGHT NOW. We can be voices. We can be agents of change. None of that has gone away but let us do it with love and gratitude and by support others. Let us be strong in the face of anything we perceive of as evil. Let us be there for our Muslim neighbors and friends. Let us be there for any who feel threatened in the LGBT community. Let us be there for those of color, the poor, the hungry. Let us be love, let us bring that energy to the world and support all that we see as good. Let us stand for whatever we see as right. Use these feelings of gratitude and actions of appreciation to continue making differences in our lives and of others. Love moves mountains!