On Gratitude

finding gratitudeBelow are a few quotes on gratitude.  This time of year, it’s helpful to be mindful of what we have, rather than what we’re missing.

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.  Albert Schweitzer

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How to Survive the Stress of Fall and Winter Holidays

It’s early October and already I’m starting to prepare for the holidays.  It’s time to get Halloween costumes, buy tickets for holiday shows, negotiate Thanksgiving plans and begin answering questions from the kids about how long until the big day.  If you send out a picture on your holiday card, which many of us do, it’s time to find that special one from the past year or arrange to have one taken.

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Positive Thoughts for the Holidays

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Within our mind we experience a ceaseless flow of thoughts. Ordinarily our attention wanders a lot, we are lost in our thoughts and only superficially aware of what is taking place within or around us. With mindful observation of our experience, we grow more sensitive to what we are perceiving, feeling, thinking, and doing. Try to practice controlling your attention by bringing your thoughts to a pleasant past experience. Thanksgiving and the holidays often bring a wide variety of emotions. To start the season on a hopeful note, you may choose to focus on a positive Thanksgiving or holiday experience.

Take a moment and remember a time when you felt hopeful, bright, cheerful, content or confident.  You can choose any experience, but focus on one in which you felt a pleasant emotion.  As you are remembering the experience, notice what made you feel these good feelings, remember how your body felt, were you flushed, did you have a warm feeling, were your muscles relaxed or tense, and remember how you expressed your positive feeling.  What did you do with your positive energy.

If you find you are distracted by other thoughts, feelings or memories that come up, simply bring your mind back to your breathing and then refocus on your positive memory.  Trust in this moment and allow it to unfold without  analyzing, judging or doubting it.

Gratitude

As Thanksgiving approaches, I have begun to think about gratitude and what I have to be thankful for this season.  I have to tear myself away from the daily stack of catalogs we get in the mail and my list of stuff that we would like to give and receive this holiday season. But refocusing attention from what we need, want, don’t have, are lacking or missing to all that we do have can change our outlook and how we feel about ourselves and our world.  Finding and focusing on that for which you are grateful can help you survive suffering or simply improve your day.  The following are some quotes on gratitude that might help you get thinking about what you are grateful for this year.

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.  Albert Schweitzer

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy — because we will always want to have something else or something more. Brother David Steindl-Rast

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful. Buddha

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. Denis Waitley

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. H.U. Westermayer