It’s that time of year for offering a bit of thanks on Thanksgiving and that for some of us is enough. We do it because this is the month when families are supposed to get together, give thanks and eat too much. But, is there an art to giving thanks and being appreciative, or are those two little words here and there throughout the year enough? I don’t think so. Gratitude is like enlightenment. It’s a fire in the soul that moves us to being a certain way in life. It’s an action, a feeling we embody and a delicate state of mind that is a prayer. It moves us to having a reverence for life and the people with whom we share this journey. When we are truly grateful we experience a joy and wonder at the blessedness of life.

Living in a state of thankfulness is about being willing to recognize all of the good that is in our lives. It’s about recognizing the gift of choice and free will. It’s about feeling blessed by the breeze on your face or the radiance in a sunset. It’s about feeling filled with gratitude that you know what you know and have sorted out the ways in which you may have tripped yourself up or tricked yourself with a lack of awareness in the past. It’s about accepting ourselves with compassion for every mistake and error that taught us a new way of being.

Thanks giving is about affirming our ability to create the quality of life we desire by acknowledging the power of who we are. As you experience gratitude for every relationship, every resource and every experience that has acted as a master teacher in your life, you become safer and more spiritually directed. A sense of grace arrives when let go and acknowledge that there is, has been, a divine plan in everything that you have experienced.

We wake up in every morning in this country in a time of unbelievable comfort. We live in luxury that is the envy of most other countries. We listen to the magic of music from the minds of genius’s. We read any book written on every imaginable topic. We have access to entertainment and media any where in the world. We can instantly communicate across vast distances by phone and internet. There is no place on the planet that is inaccessible.

We are truly blessed in so many ways. Gratitude is something we need to instill into our character. This awe and gratefulness needs to permeate the core of our being, so that it guides our decision making processes and our life.

When you are grateful for your partner, a deeper level of love and a certain respect and honor follows. When you are grateful for your job or career a certain diligence and sense of personal responsibility follows. When you are grateful for your children, a level of protection and awe arrives and you can acknowledge them as your teachers. When you are grateful for your family a certain commitment to be the best that you can be follows. When you are grateful for your life a certain reverence follows, one that provides purpose and joy. Gratitude brings with it humility, civility and compassion for others. A life filled with gratitude is light, freeing and purposeful.

Take a minute this holiday to make a gratitude list and share it with those you love. Pull it out and read it again the next time you are feeling depressed. Get up in the morning with a heart filled with thanks and rest in the same as your last thought at night. No matter what your choices have been in the past you can feel grateful because you have tomorrow and the right to make new choices. You are alive, you are awake and in the next minute you have the right and the choice to be grateful.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

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