The Gates of Gratitude Open

How can we be aware of the good things that happen in our lives? How can we take this awareness a step further and be thankful for the good in our lives? In what ways can we express this gratitude?

“Who is rich? One who is happy with their portion” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

There is no limit to what we don’t have, and if that is where we focus then our lives are inevitably filled with endless dissatisfaction. Practicing gratitude means recognizing the good that is already in our lives.

It is easy to focus on what we don’t have, the areas of our lives in which we feel we are less than or feel that we have less than. What is one area of our lives in which we feel we have a particular gift to offer the world? What is one area in our lives in which we feel we are truly blessed, perhaps even have more than enough? Are we able to see these lights in our lives or are we only able to focus on the shadows?

Begin to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Set a specific time at the end of the day (perhaps when you first get home or just before you go to sleep), to reflect on 3-5 specific things that day for which you are grateful. The more specific, the better. Allow yourself to savor the surprising moments as well as the every day ones. This can be done either in a journal or with a friend who is also trying to cultivate a gratitude practice. If focusing on the positive is challenging, perhaps reflecting on what your life would be like without specific blessings is a good place to start.