Attitude of Gratitude

December 25, 2008

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Thinking about all I have to be grateful for is a simple and profound practice. I don’t remember where I learned it but there have been times when I have kept a gratitude journal and at the best and worst of times would list at least 5 things, and sometimes many more, per day that I was thankful for. Now when I wake up in the morning I always think about how lucky I am that I have a comfortable and warm bed, a roof over my head, a wonderful family and a group of friends that I love and who love me.

Today is Christmas and this year my boys have requested no gifts because they have everything they need. We will give to others who have bigger needs. The having all we need versus having all we want is the key to the kingdom for our society in this crazy time of economic shift. I am grateful that my boys are learning that we do not have to always be acquiring things, that we can be be comfortable with what we have, and that being together and spending quality time is more valuable than stuff.

Many people teach about creating an attitude of gratitude and the health benefits. I found a beautiful website describing a nice way of creating a gratitude journal. I know that the world starts looking different, hopeful and shinier when I recognize and appreciate what a great life I have, how wonderful my family and friends are. Of course the ups come along with the negatives and the downs. Let these vintage but spot on lyrics by Johnny Mercer run around your brain while you listen to Bing sing:

You’ve got to accentuate the positive

Eliminate the negative

Latch on to the affirmative

Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum

Bring gloom down to the minimum

Have faith or pandemonium liable to walk upon the scene.

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