If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. – Meister Eckhart

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

gratitude

There are things that come easily to mind as I think of what I am thankful for in the past 12 months.

Moving into a house and neighborhood we adore. Spending time with family. Watching our daughter grow into a thriving and joyful toddler. New friendships formed and old relationships strengthened. A continued passion for what I do for a living and clients and staff who continue to support that vision. An amazing husband who supports me in all I do.

Sometimes life gets overwhelming and busy and I don’t always see the big picture. In those times I can be grateful for the little things.

A great cup of coffee or tea. A text from my two closest friends, fully relating to the ups and downs of new motherhood. The sound of my daughter’s laughter as I find just the right tickle spot. A warm fire on a cozy night. Take out. An amazing sitter who loves on our daughter so my husband and I can watch the sunset on the beach for our anniversary.

Then, if I’m being completely honest with myself, there are times that it isn’t always easy to feel grateful. In the midst of the amazing and wonderful and blessed, there are always some hard times. Doubts, questions and some tears to be sure. While I can always find something – many things – to be thankful for, there are moments when the fear of the unknown sneaks in and takes my attention momentarily.

Looking back at those times, I can quietly and reluctantly admit that I am thankful for those as well. They helped bring me closer to friends and family, helped me get past some of my obstacles, taught me about myself, and made me really commit to what is important in my life. They have made me a better friend, daughter, teacher and human.

Through good times, busy times, overwhelming times and hard times, remembering to feel grateful grounds me and helps me take the next step forward.

What is on your gratitude list this year?

Whether easy or hard, can you look back over the past year and be thankful?

Can you be still in the present moment of baking pies, ringing phones and screaming kids to say “thank you” for something right now?

If you are having a hard day, week, month or even year, can you see around the difficulties to find that voice that says “thank you”? We all have a past, that has led to our present, which is helping to create our future. For now, for just a minute, put aside your to-do list, your fears, Thanksgiving plans, guilt, deadlines, hurt feelings and unknown futures.

Reflect and be thankful.

Be thankful for things in your past, whether easy or painful. Let go of regret and use the lessons to create something better.

Be thankful for where you are right now, your present. Even if you are dealing with extreme difficulties, know that they are molding you and shaping your life. And if your present is free of current challenges, be thankful for that and pass on your gratitude to someone else!

Be thankful for your future. Visualize what you want and feel the gratitude for it now! You may not know exactly where life will take you, but by living in gratitude you are helping to create a future that is beyond your expectations. If there is someone in your life who you feel especially grateful for – who has “sparked” you recently – tell them. We can easily lose site of those we hold most dear and see most often. Call, text or jump on a plane – they are worth it, and you will feel better for it.

To my husband, parents, family, daughter, friends, clients, colleagues, coworkers, and YOU, I say THANK YOU.

For being there, loving me, making me laugh, listening to me, lifting me up when I’m down, sharing sacred moments with me, embracing me, welcoming me. I am beyond grateful and humbled. You are the reason I am giving thanks. I hope I can do the same for you in some way in the coming year.

You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given to you. – Sarah Ban Breathnach

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