At this time of year, the idea of Gratitude — one of Merlin’s most potent magical words — is never far from my mind. After all, with a holiday named “Thanksgiving”, it’s only natural that the holiday season inspires us to recall our blessings and take a moment to reflect upon how grateful we are to have received them. But the truth is, to live a truly meaningful life, Gratitude ought not to simply be a a concept to discuss over a single dinner.
I believe that to be wholly alive is to be grateful—for every breath we take, every song we sing, every person we love, every day we discover. When you live a life centered around Gratitude and make a habit of taking a few moments to appreciate your blessings, the magic of Gratitude quickly becomes interwoven with your actions and the inspiration behind your choices.
Making Room for Gratitude
In today’s world, where the hustle and bustle of daily living pulls us away from the natural wonders and beauties of life, it can be easy to lose sight of the need to express Gratitude. We can all struggle to step back and take a moment to express our thanks in meaningful ways. I believe that, like so many other things we want in our lives, making room for Gratitude is about making a conscious choice. A choice to step back and choose to acknowledge the gifts you’ve received in your life — both tangible and intangible.
But how do we make room for Gratitude with so many distractions in our day-to-day lives? In my own life, I look to nature. It is where I escape to find solace, to find comfort, to reach a place of peace where my mind is clear and my heart is open. Nature causes me to feel both very small and very large at once—diminished and humbled by my own insignificance, while also enlarged and inspired by the vast sweep of creation.
It is alongside the vast ocean, gazing up at a star filled sky, or surrounded by trees with hundreds of years of experience that I am able to put my Gratitude into perspective and connect with my inner self in a way that brightly illuminates my blessings. The beauty and authenticity of the natural world helps me truly open myself to Gratitude and appreciate all the other gifts in my life.
I encourage you to find your “nature” — that special element or setting that focuses your mind and lightens your soul. It may be a place, or an idea, or it may even be another person, but it must be something you can always count on to uplift you, to intrigue you, and to invigorate your mind. It is within this context that I truly believe your Gratitude can explode into something you can feel each day. Feeling grateful will become a part of you that you will come to know intimately, and will fill your life with meaning.
And, you won’t be able to stop expressing it! You’ll want to share your Gratitude with others, you’ll want to create opportunities for them to experience the depth of Gratitude you have experienced, and you’ll want to express how appreciative you are to be able to live such a grateful life.
Such a life is a blessing in itself, and for that I am forever grateful.