by Chrysa Smith

If you’re into spirituality at all, you know how important it is to give thanks. In her book Simple Abundance, Sara Ban Breathnach urges her readers to keep a ‘gratitude journal.’ Every night, we are asked to write down five things we were thankful for that day. Sometimes, it’s filled with even more wonderful things; other times, we’re scratching the surface to find things beyond a sunny day or a lick from the dog.

Of course, this is hardly a new concept. Thousands of years back, folks began worshiping deities for all they were given; for all they were afraid to do by themselves. Developing through the years,  gratitude became a litany, adopted by the major religions, with the discipline intended to make us more grateful people–appreciative of the small blessings–the small stuff that makes everyday living more joyful.

When I remember, I tackle this discipline (does that really make it a discipline? Perhaps that’s why I can’t drop 20 lbs). And it takes a daily discipline to develop a pattern that becomes matter-of-fact. But even on a sporadic basis, I have to say, that getting up the following day has a different air about it. It’s not only about the ‘to do’ lists, but it’s about the ‘what can I do?’ list. That is, to take away the mechanical, non-thinking, robotic routines and replace them with meaningful thought and intention. It gets us out of what we have to do for ourselves and reshifts the focus to what we can do for others. I guess, because we’re more content with all of our conscious blessings, we find it easier to focus on blessing others. Hmmm. It’s all very interesting and it’s a shame that collectively, as a nation, our celebration of gratitude doesn’t happen a bit more often.

So today, while I make the turkey, set the table, arrange the centerpiece, I will count my blessings—with a Thanksgiving resolution to give thanks more often.

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And a very Happy Thanksgiving to you all!