Monday, November 24, 2014

Resources for Growing Gratitude

How to Make Every Day of the Year Thanksgiving

Gratitude both reflects and creates happiness. It’s in our best interests to celebrate Thanksgiving every day of the year. To mix my holiday metaphors a bit, my heroine Auntie Mame sings in the musical version of her story, “We need a little Christmas, right this very minute!” We need a lot of Thanksgiving, too.

We think of gratitude as something we have—or don’t. Actually, gratitude is a form of spiritual aerobics, more of an expansion of our heart muscle we gain by exercise. Expressing thanks is not just for the purpose of creating and maintaining abundance, but an appreciation workout that helps us to see the cornucopia we live in constantly without let-up. Thanks-giving is not so much about finding things to be grateful for. It’s about noticing and appreciating the lavish opportunities life offers continuously, from the tiniest gifts to the most grandiose blessings. Living from gratitude heightens the senses and makes life itself more alive and vital. What’s not to love?

From an astrological perspective, American Thanksgiving takes place in the month of November when the Sun is in Sagittarius. Ruled by Jupiter, this Jovian holiday is the epitome of overdo.

Let’s take home from our abundant Thanksgiving tables this wonderful leftover. Extend your appetite for feasts to a gluttony for gratitude.

If you don’t already keep a gratitude journal, writing things you’re grateful for at the end of every day, I suggest the easiest version of of that practice is to make that daily review your falling-asleep prayer. The practice is so in keeping with my favorite gratitude quote:

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.  ~ Meister Eckhart

To keep your enthusiasm for gratitude running high all year, I’m also including some websites for you to explore:

A Network for Grateful Living (ANG*L) provides education and support for the practice of grateful living as a global ethic, inspired by the teachings of Br. David Steindl-Rast and colleagues.  Gratefulness – the full response to a given moment and all it contains – is a universal practice that fosters personal transformation, cross-cultural understanding, interfaith dialogue, intergenerational respect, nonviolent conflict resolution, and ecological sustainability.

This gem web page is a small but mighty time-release capsule of gratitude. It contains, among other things, 9 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude, The Power of Paying a Compliment, and Gratitude Gismos.

365 Grateful – Stories about the extraordinary power of gratitude. There are videos and information about the original 365 Grateful Project.

These three sites are just an appetizer. To feast on more gratitude offerings online, I suggest using the search string gratitude websites. You’ll be amazed at how much support exists out there to enhance your practice of “awe-aerobics.” That’s what Trudy the Bag Lady, a character played by Lily Tomlin in her one-woman show on Broadway practiced. Check out the title of this amazing stage play by Jane Wagner in this book version, Lily Tomlin: The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. Gratitude is intelligent life!

A Blessed Thanksgiving 24/7, 365 …


Photo Credit:© Marek -

This is a Prayer and Gratitude Month post.

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