The Power of Daily Gratitude

About ten years ago meditation teacher, Elesa Commerse, turned me on to the practice of a daily "gratitude list." At the time, it was a way to learn to be more present in the moment. It has become that and so much more! A gratitude list is a simple, but profound practice in which you write a list of the things, people, events, etc. that you are grateful for. I began writing my gratitude list daily and have kept at it. Over the years I have found that no matter how challenging a time might seem or how foul my attitude might be, making a gratitude list shifts my perspective for the better. I can always find something to be grateful for and it reminds me of how beautiful life is and how much there is to celebrate. I love this simple practice and keep a notebook on my nightstand for just this. David, Marlen and I have also established a tradition of sitting together at Thanksgiving and sharing our gratitude lists. It's so sweet to look back and read what Marlen listed when she was tiny (I used to write it for her) and how her perspective has grown. Being in gratitude naturally helps us shift into a present moment appreciation of the gifts in our lives. It reminds us that when we come from "thank you" there is a pleasant softening of any rough edges and a receptivity to what is possible. It's difficult to hold onto anger, fear and pettiness when we are focused on gratitude.  Meister Eckhart said that "if the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, that will be enough."  Happy Thanksgiving.



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