Seriously. About everything. You'd be surprised at the changes gratitude can make in your practice and in your day to day life. Sometimes we need to be reminded that no matter how difficult things get (or seem to be), we have an awful lot to be thankful for.
When I woke up this morning, I decided that, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I was going to try to be as consious as possible of all of the things I have to be thankful for as I encountered them throughout the day. The following is a partial list (all before 7 a.m.):
- A roof over my head and a warm place to sleep;
- Electronics (and electricity) that help me wake up in the morning;
- Hot water in the shower;
- Clean clothes to wear;
- Food on my table;
- Loved ones to kiss goodbye before I leave for work;
- The education that helped me to become a lawyer and an entrepreneur;
- My parents and the teachers who helped me to get that education;
- A career I enjoy;
- A reliable vehicle that provides my transportation;
- Paved roads, traffic lights and the infrastructure that makes travel to work if not exactly pleasant, than infinitely more efficient and bearable than it could otherwise be;
- Music that keeps me company during my trip to work;
- Friends and colleagues whose company I enjoy and who keep me intellectually stimulated (not to mention sane);
- Clients who respect my work and pay bills on time;
- Sufficient money and credit available to me to cover my necessities and quite a bit more;
- A country/government/legal system which provides me with the freedom to choose all of the above;
- All of my God-given gifts including intelligence, persistence and resourcefulness that have helped me to keep going even during the tough times; and of course
- My health, without which all of the above would be infinitely more difficult.
Many, if not all of the things on this list are things I encounter within the first few hours of every day. They're overlooked or taken for granted routinely, and yet there are many in this world who would give all they had for any one of the things on the above list.
My challenge to you this week: articulate what you have to be grateful for, whether you do so in writing or by telling another person. You may be surprised at the shift that occurs.