A Holiday Celebrating Gratitude

Happy ThanksgivingBeing grateful is so important, that it has its own holiday; ever wonder why?  Yes, in this country, early settlers decided to celebrate their harvest with gratitude in hopes it would last them the winter.  That’s true and important to celebrate. But there is also a more universal principle at play here.

Gratitude is one of those great, powerful, positive emotions that attract more reasons to feel the same—even more gratitude.  I suggest here that generating and cultivating feelings of gratitude is important and useful, if you are seeking ever better life experiences. So, cultivate feeling gratitude that things are going your way, feeling gratitude that you actually received or attained what you wanted, feeling gratitude for that unexpected gift, feeling gratitude for all of life’s little blessings—even if you have to look for them, feeling gratitude for, well, you name it–is one of those ways to deliberately create your life experience, instead of just experiencing life by default.

Bask in those warm-fuzzy gratitude feelings!  Think of those gratitude feelings as powerful little magnets, attracting even more to be grateful for.

To utilize this universal principle, it is important to understand that there is also an important difference, in thinking, “I am grateful for…” and feeling, “grateful for…”  This subtle difference is vital.  It is easy to just say, “Thank you, I am grateful;” but do you remember what it actually feels like to be grateful?

You know, that melty, warm, light–filled, spark of happy that you feel when your friend hands you that oh so thoughtful gift that you’ve been considering to get for yourself, but wouldn’t dare spend the money on such a thing, not right now?    Even more gratitude erupts when you consider this lovely person knows you so well that, somehow they knew just the perfect thing to brighten your day.  Or, you know, that warm fuzzy “ummm” a mother feels, when her 5 year old gives her a hand-picked bouquet of wild flowers saying, “I love you, mommy,” on just say any ole day.  When’s the last time you actually felt that? 

The reason for all the positive thinking advice from business consultants, coaches, and gurus is actually to help you generate those positive feelings.  As those little magic makers are real magnetic energy pulses that pull more of what you want into your life.  Even Oprah explains how her life improved when she began deliberately recording in her “Gratitude Journal.”

Recently, we have been exploring how what we think about and believe impact our life experience.  Thinking and believing are powerful in helping us create the life experiences we prefer because they generate feelings.  Remember your feelings follow what you just thought.  And feelings are also the gauge you can use to see if you are thinking thoughts that will move you in the direction of receiving what you desire.  If you experience “feel good” feelings, like gratitude, you are moving in the direction of receiving what you desire.  If you experience “feel bad” feelings, worry, irritation, distrust, anger, fear and the like, you are moving away from, literally pushing yourself away from, the very things you say you want.   (See “What if There is No Such Thing as Failure?”—for more about the “how this works.”) 

So, I just wanted to suggest that deliberately thinking thoughts that, when you think them, generate and cultivate lots of actual real discernible warm-fuzzy feelings of gratitude for what you do now have, or in the future will have, –will do a lot to make your life more of what you’ll be grateful for—a true reason to celebrate a Day of Gratitude:  Happy Thanksgiving!