November and December months are much awaited times of the year in the Americas. Trees adorned with bright fall colors, holiday music in stores, colorful holiday lights in the neighborhood signals that festivities are in the air and puts everyone in a holiday mood. Thanksgiving is a much anticipated holiday. It is this holiday – as per tradition – where people travel long distances to be with their families. It is also a time of the year where everyone, whether they are with their families or not, are reminded to be grateful and thankful.
Expressing gratitude need not wait till Thanksgiving day. It is a natural emotion that comes forth when we are genuinely overwhelmed about something. It could be that someone went out of their way to help you, or you received a gift that you did not expect, or you got a thoughtful card from a friend about how much they cherish you and so on. The reasons are innumerable, but this is a wonderful feeling. It makes us indescribably happy, joyful and connected with everything.
Instead of waiting for external stimulant to feel grateful, we can consciously express gratitude for everything that nurtures and support us. Doing this daily enhances our receptivity to Universal Gifts.
Express gratitude to your Teacher or Guru for paving the path towards your growth in life. They poured all that they knew into us selflessly without expecting anything in return. Without them holding our hands we would be lost. Take a moment and say “thank you” to all Teachers who showed us the way.
Our body is a play of the five elements – Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Space. These elements are in constant interaction with each other as well as with the outside elements to keep this body functioning at its best and as much as we will allow the best to flow. Thank Mother Earth for the delicious food you enjoy so much. Thank the Air for filling your lungs every moment for without it we would fall dead. Thank the Water for quenching your thirst. Thank the Fire for the body warmth for a cold body would be no good for anything. Thank the space for the limitless possibilities it presents before us; many we are yet to embark on.
Be grateful that you have a family that loves you despite your shortcomings. Think of all the times your parents, siblings, members of the extended family went out of their way just to make you happy because that is what you needed the most at that time.
There are levels and levels of support that we need to live through one day. Think of those who keep the lights on in your house, those who turn on your water taps, those who bring your produce to the super market, those who wove the clothes you are now wearing etc. It is a endless list. But if we reflect upon all that goes into making our life happen on a daily basis, you will see that you cannot survive a single moment without this support. Are we not receiving so much that we take for granted? The life that you are and that you experience is far more significant than the trinket that you receive from someone. Celebrate this life within you and gratitude will naturally flow.
Thank all the friends, colleagues, acquaintances and everything in nature that touched you in some way. It does not matter whether the experience was pleasant or unpleasant. What matters is that the experience taught you something that enriched your life. It is a powerful reminder that life is a journey and we are here to live, learn and be happy.
Just realizing will fill us with gratitude – a “Choiceless” but a wonderful state of Being.
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