“What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it–would you be likely to give them another? Life is the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have.” –Ralph Marsto
We believe gratitude is one of the most powerful spiritual tools at your disposal. Gratitude, instead of resentment, helps you cope with life’s challenges better, magnifies optimism, eases depression, increases happiness, makes you feel more in control, helps you achieve a higher level of well-being, and helps you feel like you are in the right place at the right time.
What are you grateful for? When you drop expectations of the way things “should” be and express more gratitude, your life will improve. We’ve found that being grateful can even dramatically transform your life, within the boundaries of your personal fate.
For example, if you feel stuck in a major rut, rather than resist, be grateful for the situation’s hidden opportunities. Accepting what you can’t change and being grateful for where you are in life will allow you to free yourself from the mental bondage and rise above the mundane challenges. Before you know it, you’ll be having more fun and be able to move beyond, or at least more easily deal with, that particular life test.
Use the following list as a starting point to express gratitude for where you are, everything in your life that you have (even if it’s not ideal or perfect for you right now–be grateful for how it is and what you like about it), and all the good that will be.
Be grateful for the following: the opportunity to be alive on Earth and to live where you do; choices in your life; the ability to communicate; the ability to think; the ability to read; the ability to express yourself; the ability to love; your health; your relationship or single status; your kids if you have them; your parents, relatives, friends, family, and pets.
Be grateful for opportunity for growth; life’s challenges that make you stronger; your hobbies; good books; opportunity to learn; emotions; passion; your intellect; your ability to forgive; and of course smiles.
Let’s remember to be grateful for the sun; flowers; gardens; green grass; trees trees; beautiful landscaping; nature; the forests; the deserts; the plains; the oceans; the ability to swim in the ocean; the beach; spring; summer; fall; and even winter.
Be grateful for entertainment, movies, theater, travel, your favorite music and performers, the ability to fly across the world on a jet, your favorite city, money, good sex, and love.
It’s a great idea to be grateful for the military that keeps you safe; cops for protecting you; firefighters for saving you; free enterprise; civil liberties; capitalism; economic growth; honest public officials; voting rights; democracy; and of course the U.S. Constitution (for those of you who are American citizens).
Express gratitude for ethnic foods; your favorite foods; your favorite restaurant; good sleep; exercise; meditation; yoga; and nutritional supplements.
Be grateful for your work, employees, boss, transportation, home, furniture, clothing, and your comfortable bed at night.
How about being grateful for technology, the Internet, email, and Google? We’re sure you can think of many more things for which to be grateful.
To make the most of your gratitude, we suggest you bond it to another dynamic spiritual energy: faith. Gratitude and faith can be used together as one of the most potent spiritual forces available to you, even when things are not going the way you had hoped they would. Cultivate the use of these forces as often as you can and then watch your life change for the better.
Copyright © 2009 Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo