What are you feeling at this moment? Are you taking a quick break from your to do list or does the title “Giving Thanks” put a smile on your face? If you chose the latter, you may already understand the transformation that living a life of gratitude brings.
Giving thanks is more than a seat at the holiday dinner table. Many have come to understand that gratitude is a secret key that shifts your awareness from an attitude of rejecting and defending to one of acceptance and appreciation, and that more abundance for which to be grateful magically follows.
“I do believe that people who live a life of pervasive thankfulness really do experience it differently than people who cheat themselves out of life by not feeling grateful,” says Robert A. Emmons, PhD, a leading expert on the subject. “Gratitude allows us to participate more in our life. We notice the positives more, and that magnifies the pleasures you receive from life.”
In her most recent meditation series with Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey asks, “Have you ever paused and noticed how you feel when you are thankful for something or someone? Take a moment and consider this: when you are present in that feeling of gratitude, you feel more open, more generous, more connected, more aware and more alive.” Why save that feeling for a certain day or time of year? It is possible to find this in every moment, and when you do, “the energy of gratitude returns to you bringing unlimited goodness; something within you – and everything around you – changes.”
Take Chopra’s example of two people doing exactly the same thing, but with different experiences. Both walk outside to pick up the morning paper. One is lost in everyday concerns; there is work and family to think about and a hundred details to consider. The other is faced with the same busy schedule, but takes in the sun and the sky, the children playing on the corner, and the birds singing. Room has been made to feel gratitude for that moment.
It is a simple notion that with practice can be truly life changing. Research has shown that this shift involves emotions, beliefs and even our physical being because it has a positive effect on our individual cells. As such, says Dr. Chopra, gratitude is an engine for holistic change.
Look around you, take a deep breath and give thanks. Let’s each begin a life of gratitude with this very moment.