“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” -A. A. Milne
Giving thanks. It’s a focus each November, and while it seems so simple, it can be hard to go deeper than just saying “please” and “thank you.” I’ve tried to put a focus on gratitude each day this past year. This daily ritual sparked when a friend pulled me aside one day and told me very intently, as if sharing a special secret, that gratitude is the most important thing.
“Saying ‘thank you’ to God is what matters most,” my friend says. “And not just for the good – for everything; for the good and the bad. Because everything in your life comes from God and is a gift from God, and saying ‘thank you, God, for everything’ is one of the things that frees you and lets the Universe speak to you.”
I have given this guidance a lot of thought. It’s a perspective that has required daily contemplation, and daily practice. Several times during the day, I will allow my mind to drift to my gratitude space, to rest and focus on nothing but being thankful – for everything. It’s a prayerful state, a meditative state and often it brings moments of peace amid the outward chaos.
Maya Angelou once wrote, “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.” It’s a beautiful way of saying that we should start with gratitude and make it the foundational element for our time of prayer, meditation and thoughtful contemplation.
This can be difficult when life too often brings so much pain, frustration, sadness, anger and fear. Life can hit us hard and drop us to our knees. Maya reminds us that to lift ourselves back up, a good place to start is gratitude, to give thanks, to God, to the Universe, to our own inner divine guide, for the many, many blessings we have, and for the assurance that we can get through whatever circumstance life throws at us.
So I invite you to practice gratitude with me during this glorious month, and throughout the holiday season. I pray that you will come to notice just how much gratitude your heart can hold.
I hope you will enjoy and share this issue of Natural Awakenings. Blessings to you and your family throughout this wonderful month of November!