The world is at war with itself, and economic conditions are growing the culture of the poor more rapidly now than they were during the recession. If you turn on the television you hear about murders, and violence, robberies and natural disasters that affect (and kill) millions of people. Then of course, there is the end of the Mayan calendar – causing many people to believe the world as we know it is about to end. On a less grandiose scale, drug addiction, teenager pregnancy, illiteracy, alcoholism, depression and divorce rates have risen to all time highs and it seems that the closer we come to ‘creating’ the perfect, most technologically advanced world possible – the less happy we are.
Luckily, each and every year the holidays come like clockwork, presenting an amazing opportunity for each of us to find reasons to feel good and be grateful. To look at the cup of life as half full rather than half empty, and to even if temporarily – enjoy the resonating ring of peace and joy that creeps into the heart of humanity during Thanksgiving and lasts throughout New Years. This year, read these reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving any time you need a gentle reminder of just how awesome the gift of life is!
- For your breath.The human breath is an amazing thing. Not only can centered breathing heal you, but also your body instinctively breathes without you even having to think about it. It is this breath in your lungs that fills your body with oxygen. It is this breath that keeps you alive and keeps you moving. It is this breath that is responsible for your every thought and for the beating of your heart. Sometimes, when life feels stressful and the bad news is more than we can handle – the simplicity of remembering that you are a living, breathing creature can be enough to make you feel grateful.
- Family is often the bane of your existence. But what would we do without them. Even if we spend a lifetime trying to get away from our childhood, from our parents or from our family – the truth is that they are always there. Your extended family doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you look hard and deep at every single one of them, chances are you will ALWAYS be able to find a bit of yourself.
- Miracles.They really do happen. A miracle can be something as small as receiving a coupon for diapers in the mail during one of those weeks when the Peter to Pay Paul trustfund runs dry at the same time you run out of diapers. Or it can be something as large as someone surviving a surgery, an accident, or illness. In order to experience miracles of any kind, big and small – you have to believe that they exist. If you have become too bitter to believe in miracles, then visit The Miracles Page and spend some time reading. Their motto is, those who look for signs…find them!
- Children. No matter what stage of life you are in, there is a pretty good chance that children in one form or another play a large part in your life. Children are curiously annoying creatures filled with an immense amount of energy that are filled with life wisdom and joy. It doesn’t take much to be able to see it. The best part about children, is that they are always willing to share their innate joy and happiness. Children are something each and every one of us should be thankful for.
- Take inventory. In a world where the have nots seem to be surpassing the haves, it is easy to feel sorry for yourself for not having something great or awesome. However, if you were to really take a look around your home, your life – you would see just how much you do have. All of these things in your life that make your life easier, happier, or more comfortable, while not luxurious or perfect – should be a source of your gratitude. There are always people who have less just as there will always be people who have more. But he or she who recognizes first and foremost what they do have, rather than what they lack – they are the chariot champions of gratefulness. Be one of them.
- Food. This very basic need is so taken for granted of by so many people. Food is essential to your life and chances are you have plenty of it. Savor each and every bite you take. Pay attention to flavors as you eat. Nourish your body with the mindfulness that everything you need is within reach. And share! Donate to a canned food drive, spend Thanksgiving delivering meals to the needy. Do something to make sure that the people around you and in your neighborhood have the same access to food that you do. When you stop to consider the small things, the big things that drive you crazy can suddenly seem insignificant.
- Your friends. Don’t take them for granted. Life is short and no one is perfect. If you have just one close friend, be grateful for him and her.
- Of thought. Of choice. Of your future. Freedom is not something experienced by everyone in this world. If you have it, you should NOT take it for granted. Someone, many people – have DIED so that you could live free. Freedom and free will are one of those things that few people realize the importance of anymore. But you must and you should take the time to thank a soldier for allowing you to keep it.
As you can see from this list, the personal reasons you have to be grateful are vast and many. Gratitude is not just taking a minute to be thankful, but instead is a way of living a way of life. This Thanksgiving, choose to be ever present in your life and to always make room for gratitude and gratefulness. This way, the spirit of the holidays will not only exist this year – but through all the years to come as well.