|Three Steps for a Great Thanksgiving||Party Ideas & Activities||Saying Grace||
The Spirit of Gratitude
The power of being grateful is one of the great secrets of life. Like love, being grateful benefits both the giver and the receiver. When you are grateful, your channels of appreciation are open wide. You see the goodness and the beauty, and you feel the wonder. When you extend love to the source of the goodness you have received, you encourage a reciprocal relationship and the flow of more good things into your life.
Gratitude is a great life-enhancement that you can have with the speed of thought, just by deciding to have it. Because you may not know how things will turn out in the long run, you might as well expect the best. Eventually you can adopt an attitude of gratitude for everything, well almost everything. And you will find that your attitude of gratitude becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The biblical advice "in every thing give thanks" is for your benefit. And what will follow is joy, as the Buddha predicted.
When your thoughts turn to God, gratitude is a way of relating to God. You express gratitude by offering thanks and praise. And the mystery is this, that when your finite mind reaches out and lifts up to the Infinite, it stimulates the flow of blessing.
Love happens. Sometimes gratitude happens innately. Sometimes it takes a conscious decision to turn your mind away from complaining about what you do not want or do not have to affirming what you do want or do have. Tthen all your energy goes into bringing out the good things, and you end up being grateful for them. Gratitude and appreciation are the pillars of prayer and positive thinking.
In the Biblical story of creation, when God created the world, he saw it as beautifully good. How about you?
The Thanksgiving holiday reminds us to be grateful for the good things, people and providential events in our lives and our larger world. It is a time to communicate our thanks to other people with written notes and to God with prayer.
On Thanksgiving Day, party activities can get us thinking about what we are grateful for. At the dinner table, the hostess can encourage family and friends to talk about what they have especially appreciated during the past year.
If you had a tough year and are having trouble finding something to be grateful for, consider the Buddha's advice:
Let us rise up and be thankful,
for if we didn't learn a lot today,
at least we learned a little,
and if we didn't learn a little,
at least we didn't get sick,
and if we got sick,
at least we didn't die;
so let us all be thankful.