Let everyday be Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a day for giving thanks – quite self explanatory.  But what does it mean to be thankful?  Have you stopped to think through what life would look like if we not just give thanks once in a while, but we become thankful everyday, every hour of the day, and every minute.  How will that transform your life?
Life is not a straight line of happiness or sadness.  There will be times when you face challenges in life, for some people more than others.  You might feel that life is not fair when you’ve been dealt lemons while others have a cushy life.  No matter what your circumstances in life, who are you as a person?  How do you behave?  How do you FEEL?  Once you start saying thanks for everything in your life, no matter how big or small, this act actually starts rewiring your brain cells.  Your cells begin to transform at the microscopic level, and they collectively transform you.
You’ve heard of the Pareto Principle, often referred to as the 80/20 rule.  Allow yourself only 20% of your time for any negative thoughts and dwelling on what’s not working in your life.   You should dedicate the remaining 80% to being grateful and positive.  Once you begin to focus on the good, your mind and body begin to respond to it.  Being thankful is yet another habit that, once cultivated, stays with you forever.
About 25 years ago I began writing down in my journal and then saying out aloud what I was happy about.   Some of these things that made me happy were already in existence in my life, and others were just future dreams that I gave energy to by being grateful.  I wanted to write a book in the future.  So, I would write down in my journal everyday – “I’m so grateful that my book has been published and is helping so many people”.  It’s funny how your brain does not differentiate between what is your current reality and what you are dreaming about.
I include the act of Thanksgiving daily after my morning meditation.  My body is literally awash with gratitude.  Many times, tears roll down my cheeks validating the immense sense of thankfulness and bliss. When you begin to give thanks for everything in your life, when you begin to thank the people in your life, LIFE CHANGES!  You start looking at the world with rose colored glasses.  No one’s life is perfect.  Some people are better off and some worse off than you.  We cannot compare  each other’s lives.  What we can do is to be grateful for exactly where we currently are in life.
It’s the focus on small things that can create big effects in your life in the areas of happiness, contentment, joyful living.  I look at the small Devil’s Ivy plant on my dining table and realize that a new baby green leaf has just sprouted. I stare out my window and the sun’s rays are just peeking out.  I feel the cool breeze hit my face as I open my backyard to let my two Shih Tzus out. My tea kettle whistles and I pour a hot cup of tea.  I hold my tea cup in between my two hands and feel the warmth.  The steam and the aroma of the ginger tea swim up to my nose.  I do my one hour yoga and feel soreness in my  muscles from yesterday’s workout.  I thank my body for giving me the strength and my brain for the discipline to wake up everyday for the yoga and meditation routine.  I am writing this blog on a nice macbook;  many people in the world may not have a laptop readily available.  I turn on the lamps in my home and immediately the house is flooded with lights.  I know that there are people in some parts of the world in villages who don’t have this luxury.  I feel the chill of the early morning, and immediately pull out my warm and cuddly sweatshirt.  Who is out on the streets today with no jacket or blanket to warm them up?  On Thanksgiving day, I cook up a storm and fill up the table with all kinds of delicacies for the family to savor together.  My thoughts go out to people who may not have food today for their children.
When you become grateful for everything and you see your life as a blessing, then gratitude washes over your core being – every cell in your body is affected by this feeling of GRATITUDE.  As I close my eyes to retire for the day, and when my eyes open in the morning, I not only say this quietly but FEEL it – I’m so grateful for my family, my children, my hubby, our moms, our friends, and my work colleagues.  I thank my body for supporting me everyday, and I thank my mind for being curious and willing to learn new things each day.
Let everyday be Thanksgiving. As you give thanks for everything that makes up your life, think how you can make a difference for others who may not be as privileged as you.  Enjoy your day.  Enjoy your week.  Live in joy no matter what is going on in your life.  Think how you can share that joy with others. Our success in life has more meaning when we include others in it.  What are you going to do for someone else today?  For someone you know well and also for others who are not in your immediate circle of life?

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