by Susie Michelle Cortright
Gratitude keeps us centered and wards off jealousy and
Here are five little things we can do each day to nourish
our sense of gratitude:
1. Choose your friends wisely.
If you strive to be spiritually strong, supportive, empowering,
intelligent, energetic, and positive, seek those characteristics
Help your friends develop more positive traits by living
those positive traits yourself. Know what kind of friends will
help you nurture your soul, and set out to find some.
2. Help your friends cultivate gratitude.
Before you say anything about a friend's situation, remember that
everyone's situation is unique. I've seen it happen to myself and
to my friends. They'll be perfectly happy until someone tells them
they're being mistreated. Suddenly, they're upset.
Don't let your friends wield such power, and work to avoid
wielding such power yourself.
Day by day, hour by hour, make a goal to stop complaining about
your life. Make a pact with your friends to cut the complaints
from your conversations.
3. Give the gift of gratitude to your children.
Help your children to be satisfied with the simple things while giving
them the innate power and ability to achieve whatever they want
in life...by living in such a way yourself.
4. Say "Thank You."
Whom in your life do you appreciate? Let them know, whether it's
your mom, your kids, your friends, your husband, your child's daycare
provider or the helpful woman behind the cosmetics counter.
A heartfelt "thank you" often does the trick.
Make it a habit and your attention will
suddenly turn to all the things people do for you.
Also, write thank you notes regularly - not just after a gift
exchange - and be mindful of all the ways you show your
appreciation by the things you do in return.
Another idea: Spend 15 minutes writing a letter to your children.
In this note, tell them how much you love them, why you're thankful
for them, and all the ways they have enriched your life. This can be
something you give them now or after they have grown.
5. Be mindful of the little things.
Today, strive to be aware of all the aspects of your personal,
professional, and family life for which you are thankful.
Take a few minutes today to appreciate nature. Go for a walk and
notice only those things that are beautiful. Whether you focus
on the stars above, a distant mountain range, or the cottonwood tree
in your backyard, try to notice the details. Give thanks for
the beauty that surrounds us.
Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple
Abundance, speak often of the importance of a Gratitude
Journal, in which, at the end of each day, you record at least five
things you're grateful for.
Regardless of whether you write down these items, spend
some time each day to focus on the little things in
your life that make each day special. Perhaps
it's your child's toothless grin. A warm home. Delicious
food enjoyed with family.
Together, let's work on focusing on what we have - not on
what we don't have - and all the ways we can help one
another have more gratitude for the gift of life.