Finding Thanksgiving

Written on Monday, December 13th, 2010 at 10:48 pm by Ric
Filed under Lifestyle.

With Thanksgiving a few weeks ago, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss the meaning of the origins of the holiday, and what it means to us.

The first Thanksgiving celebration was literally that – a celebration giving thanks to God for helping the Pilgrims survive their first brutal winter in a new land. Today, Thanksgiving evokes images of several different things: turkeys (and other food), vacations, family, football games (and other sports too), and, if you count the week after Thanksgiving, shopping. With all these different images, it’s easy to forget what the holiday is all about, and I think it would be a good thing for us to explore that again.

Thanksgiving, you see, isn’t just a holiday in November (or another time of year, if you’re from other parts of the world). Thanksgiving is something we can do everyday – we can count our blessings and be grateful for what we have no matter what time of year it is.

John Carpenter Dealey gives one great reason to be thankful in his Healthy Wealthy n Wise article entitled Gratitude, a Gift that Keeps On Giving! In his article, he says that people who “describe themselves as feeling grateful, either to others or to a higher power, tend to have less stress, less depression, more vitality, more joy and feel more successful.”

The next time the economy, people, the weather, or anything else gets you down, Dealey suggests that you “grab a pen and write down some things you are grateful for. You will be amazed at how much this simple act of acknowledging the good around you can lift your spirits!” I totally agree – simply thinking of things I’m thankful for already lifts my spirits.

Gratitude goes beyond being thankful for what you know you have. It also means being able to receive new blessings gracefully, whatever form they may take. Judith Severn and Jim Sniechowski put it well in their article Gratitude Becomes You, also on Healthy Wealth n Wise. They say that “without gratitude, you can never feel spiritually full. You can never accept and trust that life is joyous and rewarding.”

Judith and Jim urge you to “make it a practice to see the opportunity in the crisis, the blessing in the disappointment, and the joy when it goes just like you want it to.” The saying goes that “when one door closes, another door opens” – this is exactly what Judith and Jim are telling you. New blessings are all around you – sometimes you just have to look a bit harder to recognize them.

Mike Robbins says it another way in another Healthy Wealthy n Wise article, this one called Discovering Everyday Gratitude: How to Live a Life Filled With Appreciation & Enjoyment. “There are great things happening in your life and around you all the time,” he explains. “You interact with amazing people each and every day. And, this is only “true” if you choose to recognize it, acknowledge it, and live it through your thoughts, words, and actions.” There is so much good happening around us and to us, and it’s up to us to acknowledge and recognize this good.

Mike goes on to share his “Top 5 Principles to Living a Life Filled With Appreciation and Enjoyment:”

1. Be Grateful
2. Choose Positive Thoughts and Feelings
3. Use Positive Words
4. Acknowledge Others
5. Appreciate Yourself

He explains each of these principles in his post, but before you read his explanations, I wonder, what do these principles mean to you? Give us your take in the comments.

Always thankful,
Ric


Image by: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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