Thanksgiving is the one day out of the entire year that is designated for giving our thanks and counting our blessings -- even if our gratitude is half-hearted at best. Each year around this time I always ask myself the same things: Why do I need a holiday shrouded in gluttony to give thanks and to be grateful for everything I have? Shouldn't giving thanks be something that we do every single day? Shouldn't I be grateful for not only the bigger things in my life, but also the smaller, every day ones?
I believe that having a grateful heart attracts abundance and miracles. The more often you give thanks, the happier you are.
Having gratitude is perhaps the most important virtue of all. It allows us to become in tune with the source of everything good that comes into our lives. But what does it even mean to be grateful? To me, gratitude is an affirmation that there is goodness in the world, and that the source of it is beyond ourselves. We acknowledge that other people or higher powers (if you are of a spiritual mindset) give us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve goodness in our lives. Being grateful also means living your life as if everything is a miracle and to be aware on a continuous basis of what you've been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life is lacking to the abundance that is already present.
We tend to take for granted the good that is already present within our lives. It is important to notice and appreciate each day's gifts -- to find the joy in smaller things instead of celebrating only our big achievements. Often times, I like to use gratitude to to help me put things in proper perspective. When things don't go as I had planned, I try to remember that every difficulty carries within it the seeds of an equal or greater benefit. In the face of adversity I'll ask myself, "What can I learn from this?", or "How can I benefit from this?"
Having a grateful heart allows us to approach life with humility and grace. By acknowledging the smaller, every day things we become aware of just how much we really have. If we can't be appreciative for what we already have it's as if we're declaring that we deserve more. By practicing gratitude each and every day (and not just one day out of 365) we can transform our entire perspective, and with it our entire lives.