This time of year we seem to turn our attention more than usual to the spiritual practice of gratitude. And I am grateful that we do, because it reminds me that gratitude is a ThanksLiving practice. We attempt to live gratitude, just as our teacher and way-shower Jesus did.
Let us remember that the expression of gratitude is causative energy, and, of course, it creates. May we create consciously? When we put cause into expression, we reap the effects. As we stir up the gift of gratitude and express it with our thoughts, words, and actions, we begin to see new effects in our life, thus changing our life. Yes, we are called to give thanks for it (whatever it is) even before we see it in the world of effects. So giving thanks in advance is a vital part of the practice of gratitude. Gratitude is a spiritual tool that helps us open our hearts to receive God’s goodness.
There are two times to give thanks: when things are going well and when things are not going well. The Apostle Paul says, “in all things give thanks,” and so when things are not going the way we want them to, it is our job to stir up the gift of gratitude and express that gratitude, regardless of appearances. Not so easy to do.
So this Thanksgiving, let us commit to live a life of ThanksLiving. We live in the flow of Spirit. Here are a few practices I suggest to become more aware of the blessings in our life and be able to give thanks in all things.
- As you meditate, just focus on the words, “thank you.” Just very quietly focus on “thank you.” Allow your entire body to feel the energy.
- Begin to bless everything: the shower in the morning, the day; bless it all. In all things give thanks.
- Make a gratitude list or keep a gratitude journal, so that when things get rough you can look back and be reminded of all the blessings in your life.
- Begin to look for the good or God in every situation. Remember, every person you attract into your life is a sacred teacher. S/he has come to be your teacher.
- Learn to be a gracious receiver. We must learn to receive.
- Appreciate and be happy for other people’s good. We stop our good when we are envious of other’s good. Love and be happy for others. Let them know so.
This holiday season, remember to celebrate the success of others. Let go of any resentment, for there is no room in your heart for both resentment and gratitude. Remember in all things to give gratitude. Express it and be it.