Sunday, November 1, 2009

What Are You Grateful For?

This morning at Parkway Presbyterian we had an All Saints Day service to commemorate our loved ones who have passed on. While our wonderful minister, Liz Peterson, read the list of names the congregation had compiled, I and a member of the much younger generation lit a candle for each name. It was a beautiful ritual for remembering and honoring our family and friends who have dropped their bodies.

It’s also a great way to begin the month in which we in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving. And this year I’d like to encourage you to celebrate the holiday all month, with an intentional expression of gratitude each day.

Gratitude is one of the highest vibrations that we can experience, along with love and forgiveness. When we consciously focus on all that we have to be grateful for, we are automatically in that higher vibration, and in a better place to make plans and take action.

So here are some ideas for keeping your awareness in gratitude during this month of Thanksgiving:

*Keep a gratitude journal-this is an obvious one, but bears reminding. Write down five things that you are grateful for each day.

*Write a brief note to someone who has made a difference in you life. It might be a family member, teacher, friend, co-worker, the person who delivers your newspaper, or the barista who makes your perfect cup of coffee every morning. Write to someone different each day for the whole month.

*Create a gratitude notebook for your family. Decorate it and leave it in a conspicuous place where everyone can write something they’re grateful for any time they pass it. Read the entries out loud during the Thanksgiving meal.

*Leave thank you notes in your spouse’s and children’s lunch boxes or backpacks.

*Pick someone each day to spend a few moments thinking about and visualize them surrounded by God’s love, thanking God for putting them in your life.

*Give a gift to someone different each day. It doesn’t have to be a material gift. It can be your attention, a special breakfast, a love note, a smile. Find strangers to be the recipients of some of these gifts. For example pay for the order of the car behind you in line at Starbuck’s. One time when I did this it was a state trooper-I plan to bring that up if I’m ever pulled over for an alleged traffic violation - lol!

Be creative and find ways to express your gratitude to yourself, your family and friends, and God. You will feel better and better every time you do it!

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