Traditionally, Thanksgiving is normally the one day a year where we offer thanks as we gather around the table, reconnecting with family and friends from near and far. Why do we wait for this one day to offer thanks, when we can do it everyday?

I call it the Art of Gratitude, because it is an art form, from the mundane daily chores to bill paying, pain and injury. Can we find something in what is often complained about to be grateful for? Yes!

There is so much going on around each of us every day, in every moment, to find a spark of gratitude. When we find it, hold on to that for dear life. Using the example of paying bills, instead of bemoaning the exchange of money for service, before writing your check or paying online pause for a moment. Think of what this bill means to you. If it’s the electric bill, think of what that brings, the countless people who work for the company to insure your electric is always on. Any power outage is sure to bring on the spark of gratitude when the house comes alive again with working lights, washing machine, computers, etc. Just pause. Be grateful first, then write your check and then in the memo line write “With Gratitude.”

Be grateful for your body’s intelligent nature to share with you when something is out of whack showing up in the form of pain. Be grateful for the mundane chores. Be grateful for your “unfulfilling” job. All of these examples offer a moment to pause in your thinking, offering an opportunity to shift the process of the brain synapses from one of lack or complaining to feeling gratitude in the moment. Think of this exercise as learning to ride a bike for the first time: consider finding gratitude in what’s not working in your life as the training wheels that kept you balanced as a child on their first bike. It’s the foundation on which living a life of gratitude is born.

Find and offer gratitude that you woke up in the morning, the beautiful sunrise, the air you breathe, the people in your life, the falling leaves as the crunch under foot, the money in the bank that you do have, the food you eat, or those that made it possible for you to eat it. Once you start looking for gratitude, it will find you and offer you more to be grateful for. When you have more to be grateful for, it continues to build and grow. Your life will never be the same again. Gratitude will surround you, working through you. No matter what is going on in your life, it will open doors you never could have imagined before.

With love and gratitude,

~ Coach Karen Sullivan, CHt, CLAC, CLC