Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to Create an Attitude of Gratitude

What is an attitude of gratitude and why is it important? I know that many of us are going through rough periods in our lives. We may be concerned about our health (or that of a loved one), our relationships, our finances, our business and/or spiritual growth, or other factors that influence our response to life. It's important to understand that issues such as these will always be with us and that it’s important to create an attitude of gratitude as we shape our response to them.

An attitude of gratitude is a state of mind or being that centers us on who we are and our real purpose for living. It is created when we take time to enumerate those things for which we are truly thankful. I like to start by being grateful to my Creator for life and breath. Next I am grateful for whatever creature comforts I may have (they may not be the best but they could be a lot worse).

Next I am grateful for all of those moments in my life that took my breath away. Such as my first kiss, my first love, being present at the birth of my children and for the ability to fall in love again after experiencing a broken heart that I truly believed would never mend.

I am also grateful for the fact that if I have the mental faculty to identify my challenges then conversely I also have the mental faculty to create a solution. This results in me being grateful for my challenges. Let me give you an example.

A number of years ago one of my daughters was diagnosed with cancer. This diagnosis was not expected and as you can guess caught me by complete surprise. However, prior to publicly responding to this issue I entered into a state of gratitude.

I thanked my creator for allowing me the time I had already spent with my daughter. I remembered the special feeling that all dads get when their daughters give them a kiss on the cheek. I was grateful for experiencing her mood swings as she grew from a young girl into a young woman. At the end of this period of gratitude I felt very calm and connected to my spiritual source. As a result I was ready to face any outcome with calm and equanimity.

I truly believe that my calmness in responding to this situation rubbed off on my daughter. Today my daughter is completely cured and the mother of my first grandchild.

In closing I'd like to share with you a quote by Parker J Palmer that I believe puts the concept attitude of gratitude in perspective.
How easily we get trapped in that which is not essential — in looking good, winning at competition, gathering power and wealth — when simply being alive is the gift beyond measure.
- Parker J. Palmer
I hope you enjoyed this post.  Until next time here's hoping that you live today and every day passionately and with purpose. Thank you and God Bless!

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