By Mary Welch
Gratitude is the foundation of all the joy in our life. You know that already and you also know that just knowing it is not enough, we must actually practice the art of being grateful.
Yes, a list at the end of your day is a great spiritual practice. However, often that list includes only the events or circumstances that brought us a moment of joy. The key is to appreciate everything – blessings and struggles. I realize that I don’t have to be grateful FOR everything, but finding something IN the situation to be grateful for is what moves me beyond the pain and struggle.
When I’m feeling sorry for myself, if I stop and choose to see the lesson in the pain and give thanks for the learning, I immediately feel better. Even the unappreciated lessons of life are worth looking at from a new perspective. If I choose, I can be sincerely grateful.
In addition to a gratitude list, a simple practice is to verbally acknowledge the feeling of gratitude. It seems like it would be easy to always say ‘thank you’ for gifts given and everyday blessings, but that isn’t true. Too often I’ve found myself taking them for granted and when I realize it, a heartfelt word of appreciation spoken aloud can make the difference between serenity and anxiety. Taking the time to actually say the words ‘Thank You’ makes my body feel lighter for a moment, my mind freer of confusion, and my soul joyful!
I love this quote from the beautiful children’s book The Secret of Saying Thanks by Douglas Wood, “We don’t give thanks because we’re happy. We are happy because we give thanks,” I can only imagine my life if I would remain conscious to that simple wisdom all the time.
This is an excerpt from Mary’s book: Alive Aware Awake … Living an Ordinary Sacred Life
MARY J WELCH
Author of Alive Aware Awake…Living An Ordinary Sacred Life.
Founder of Serend!p!ty Circles
Mary has a degree in Transformational Leadership and she is a ToP ™ Facilitator. She is also a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute, Landmark Education, Vistar Integrated Programs, and numerous spiritual and personal growth trainings, including the Nine Gates Mystery School and BraveHeart Women Resonate training Mary is an inspiring life coach whose creative retreats, workshops, and personal coaching have enriched the lives of women from all over the world.