What I know for sure is that freedom is an inside job. As spiritual beings having a human experience, we are all blessed with free will. This means that we are always at choice. This is quite the gift. In my own life, I have sometimes chosen unwisely, yet as I grow in wisdom through the years of my life, I am finding that I choose well, and enjoy more freedom, independence, love, peace and joy.
This April and May, Oregon got surprise rain which helps incredibly with our drought situation. Yes, I am thankful! We also got snow and freezing temperatures. Not quite so thankful. You see, we have this gorgeous wisteria that was about to flower. The tender blossoms were so close to full regalia. Then the freeze caused them all to die. I was so sad. I honestly grieved for about three days. It may sound silly, but this is one of the most glorious times in Spring, when the wisteria erupts into full bloom.
Seeking Joy in Life’s Daily (Often Overlooked) Treasure
“If you want to feel rich, just count all the gifts you have that don't cost money.”
I am so thankful for the gifts of my life, that are free and unfettered. Good health, stable home life, love that abounds, pets that adore, country living, wondrous nature, my own creativity, the ability to give and receive, sparkling night skies and waters, the overall magic and wonder and mystery of life that is always visible when I open my spiritual eyes to see. I am in deep gratitude for the lavish riches of life!
If you want to feel more abundance, if you want to feel more prosperous even if you don't have much money, take time to savor all the things in your life that don't cost anything. Feeling grateful is the antidote to feelings of lack, because we are focusing on what is there, what we have, rather than what we don't. We can take stock of many, many things that are abundant in life when feeling scarcity and immediately feel better. Below is a list of 50 things I am grateful for that don't cost a dime. Join me and make the list longer!
1. Waking up to a new dawn each morning with brand new possibilities
2. A friend who loves me unconditionally
3. Loving and accepting someone unconditionally
4. Taking a walk in nature
5. Sunflowers brightly blooming in the summertime
6. A profusion of Golden Delicious apples on a tree in our yard
7. The beauty of reflections in water
8. A newborn infant's eyes
9. The devoted, unfailing love of a dog or cat
10 Inspired Ways to Quickly Regain Joy and Peace
Whenever I nosedive into feeling worried or harried or completely stressed out, I have a surefire method to counteract these undesirable feelings. It works every time! It can be hard to start – I might tell myself I don’t have enough time, or it won’t work, but those are just feeble excuses. When I actually sit down to begin, this practice I’m about to share always helps my mood improve and become more positive. Scientific studies 1 have proven, without a doubt, that if we start focusing on what is right, what feels good to us, what there is to be grateful for, we can and will shift into more happiness, peace, joy and even better health!
I know it sounds almost too good to be true, but it has worked for me over and over again, and in this article, I will share some of my own Top Ten list. And I invite you to try it too.
I call this tool My Grand List of Gratitude. Start a huge list of everything and everyone you are grateful for. I find that I can never run out of things to add – this list can be endless, and even ongoing.
Is There a Difference Between Gratitude and Thankfulness?
Thanksgiving is drawing ever so close, and maybe it is time to re-evaluate our understanding of this celebration, which is held in such high regard by Americans and Canadians alike. At this time of the year, most of us focus on being thankful, which is great and all, but forget about the weightier and more spiritual concept of gratitude. The two terms are used interchangeably, but they are centuries apart when it comes to implication.
So, what is the difference between gratitude and thankfulness?
How to Keep Your Joy (even when things go wrong)
It Seems Nothing is Going Right
There comes a time when everyone experiences a terrible period of failures in their lives. Relationships crumble; they get fired and realize that they have to train for a new career. At such times, finding something to be positive about or grateful for seems impossible because the only possibility one can see is an unending chain of misfortunes. But this is exactly the kind of experience that should inspire positive change in your life and personality. Rather than think that you’re ill-fated, pull yourself together and be grateful for what you have.
Discover 7 Amazing Health Benefits of Living in Gratitude
(You probably haven't considered these)
Thanksgiving isn't the only time you should practice gratitude. It is helpful every single day of the year! Many studies have found there are great health benefits in making gratitude a year-round habit. To enjoy the many mental and physical benefits of gratitude all it takes is a little bit of introspection.
Here are seven surprising benefits you can gain from developing an attitude of gratitude that you might not know about.
What a bombshell it was to find myself “locked down,” in shelter, with stores and businesses closing all around me in March 2020. In the past few years, I have been in grief about so many wildfires occurring in the Pacific Northwest where I live each summer. And then last year, a horrific huge bush fire in Australia! And of course, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods galore as well. It seemed very obvious that Mother Nature had definitely had enough of humankind’s disregard for the earth, and living in a non-harmonic way. And to me, these natural disasters seemed as bad as things could get. And I lamented that they were happening with more frequency each year. Wearing a mask while taking walks during wildfires really sucked. Air quality was dangerous. Well, so far in 2020, things have gone from bad to worse. I never thought or imagined in my life the whole world’s people would be “sent to their rooms.” I never imagined wearing a mask everywhere, or being shamed if I didn’t choose to comply.
Read Deborah's latest article, Radical Gratitude: How to Turn Your Pain into Peace on Tiny Buddha. Click here
My journey to living in gratitude began in 2010. And let me say that up until that time, until I was age 45, I was a complainer, griper and a whiner, with absolutely no reason to complain! Luckily, I was saved from these very wasteful, counter-productive habits when I was given a blank journal one Thanksgiving season by a New Thought minister, who told us if we journaled 5 things we were grateful for 40 days our life would change exponentially for the better. She did this two years in a row, I dutifully wrote my gratitude lists and oh my god, my life did change. It worked! I let go of complaining and started focusing on all the good in my life, and there is plenty.