I am learning that living with a grateful heart unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough. Gratitude turns a house into a home; a stranger into a friend. It opens our eyes to what’s happening now – to appreciate life's journey. Living with gratitude has the power to teach, inspire, and cultivate the best in all of us. Gratitude always starts with what is in front of us, not what we hope will appear. Gratitude begins with paying attention, with noticing the goodness, beauty and grace around us.
Sadly, few people experience the magic of now - they anxiously dwell on the future. They fail to be present in the moment because their attention is fully focused on what may happen next. Contemplating the future is certainly important. But creating a better future is built from an inventory of what "is" today and then evaluating what "can be."
Over the past year I’ve experienced both extreme joy and profound sadness. I’ve lost a son I deeply loved. I’ve witnessed the beauty of the birth of my first grandchild. I've seen the cruel face of injustice. There were moments of celebration -- and moments of deep distress. And through this journey, I’ve learned that it’s our connections with others that make life worth living. Showing up for one another matters. In fact, it may be all that matters. Whether we are on the giving end or the receiving end - we are connected to one another. These human connections are essential to our well-being. And these connections are found in the now - when we stop thinking about tomorrow and, with gratitude, simply enjoy and experience what is happening in the present moment.
Feeling grateful isn't a characteristic we are born with - it's something we are taught. The lessons of gratitude often in our most difficult and painful moments. Gratitude is a concious choice that, over time, can become a life-changing habit. It determines how we see and experience life.
Today I give thanks - for health, family, freedom and love. And I am grateful. I have more than enough.