Practicing Gratitude for EVERYTHING

A PRECIOUS HUMAN LIFE

“Every day, think as you wake up, Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it, I am going to use all my energies to develop myself.   To expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry, or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

The XIV Dalai Lama

 

I love this writing from the Dalai Lama.  It helps remind me what a gift life is and that I can always choose how I use my life.  I can choose happiness, service and contentment, or I can choose the opposite.  If we start with gratitude for the biggest gift of all, life, we are setting ourselves up for a life well lived.   The next step is practicing gratitude for EVERYTHING.

It’s really quite simple.  Cultivate the habit of simple awareness or mindfulness as often as you can.  Just pay attention to the people and world around you.  Notice that you have shelter, food, and clothing for starters.  Many people don’t even have that.  It helps to write down 3-5 things you are grateful for every day.  It could be as basic as your favorite coffee cup, the blue sky, the cute little girl who waves to you as you pass.  These are the moments that nurture our souls.

This attention to the small blessings around us helps us avoid obsessing about the minute distractions and inconveniences that are a normal part of life.  Our brains are wired to look for “what is wrong with this picture”.   If we constantly look for what is wrong, we will find it, and it is easy to get stuck in a mental state of wanting it to be different and complaining to ourselves and others.

As we head into Thanksgiving, I am doubling up on counting my blessings.  I am writing them down, and the list is long:  my good health, especially my strong hands, my sweet husband who I adore, my wonderful staff, all my great patients who are such joy to work with, my generous friends, my lovely home, and on and on.

So what are you most grateful for?  What are your biggest blessings?  I would love to know! Please leave us a comment with yours.

 

Font Resize
Contrast