My focus was directed toward gratitude today by a colleague who gave me a copy of ‘A Thankful Heart’ by Francis Frangipane at a meeting this morning. In it, the author reminds us that, “If you want to find joy, you must first find thankfulness.”
After reading this, I then came across the following quote as I sat down to write the next installment of Lessons We Learn: ‘I’ve learned that the easiest way to find happiness is to quit complaining.’ The light went off in my head and I believed that this was what I was to write about today.
I know that with the challenges that I am facing in my life right now, I needed the reminder to practice gratitude. When I am able to focus back on the many, many things that I am grateful for in my life, the challenges become less challenging; the balance begins to return and my overall state of mind improves greatly!
When we focus too much of our time and energy on the complaints of our life, it keeps us in that very negative state. And if what we focus on expands, then we really need to pay close attention to what we are focusing on! (I just gave myself a 2×4 reminder to the head on that one myself while writing it!).
Frangipane writes, “It does not matter what your circumstances are; the instant you begin to thank God, even though your situation has not changed, you begin to change.”
So what is that negative thing that you are dwelling on today? Stop, right now, and think of 5 things that you are grateful for……I’ll wait……..
(Cue Jeopardy music…….)
Let me share with you the things that I am grateful for this moment: a beautiful summer day full of sunshine, a comfortable home to live in, a first grandchild on the way in December, a husband who loves and supports me, and chocolate! Obviously these are in no particular order of importance as on another day my husband or chocolate might have popped into my mind first!
What are your 5? How do you feel after focusing on what you are thankful for?
Some days are really tough and it can be very difficult to find our gratitude. On those days maybe it is just that you got a hot cup of coffee that morning or you still had one clean pair of underwear to put on after your shower. On those days especially, take a moment to slow down, breathe and find something to be thankful about.
As I focus on the things that I am grateful for, the complaints seem to fade and I find myself in a more positive place. I realize that we would all have happier and more contented lives if we acted as though Thanksgiving Day was Everyday (minus the turkey and all the fixings of course….and maybe Uncle Jim’s holiday-family-gathering behavior ….even though we should be thankful for Uncle Jim too…..).
So thanks, Bill, for handing that piece to me this morning and thanks to all of you for taking the time to read this post. Two more ‘gratitudes’ for this day…..it’s going to be a great one!
On the journey with you…….Kathy
(Quote: Age 19- The Complete Live and Learn and Pass It On, by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.)