As I write to you today, it has been a year since my friend was killed in a tragic accident. I cannot say that it has been an easy year. In fact, for the first few months it was very surreal. I would pick up my phone to try and call him. Then I would remember that he is no longer here. Then I would feel a myriad of different emotions hitting me at one time. However, as time has passed it has gotten easier for me. I'm reminded of all the great moments we shared. The laughter, the lessons and the wisdom that he shared with me was invaluable. What I have learned is that he is not in my past but in my future. I celebrate his life and blessing of friendship that we shared. Everybody is getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I enjoy spending time with my family, sitting around the table and enjoying good food and the incredible opportunity to express gratitude for all the many blessings in my life. Thanksgiving is not something that should be restricted to a day. Thanksgiving is a lifestyle that anybody can cultivate. Gratitude is one of my favorite things in the whole world. Here are a few lessons on how you can unleash gratitude in your life.
1. Gratitude is one of the most important habits you can ever develop. As a leading Empowerment Specialist, I have been privileged to empower people all over the world to achieve success. Many have come to me excited about learning how to succeed in life. However, many are baffled when I tell them the first lesson they must learn is in gratitude. Immediately I can see the confusion on their faces. I know that no other force but gratitude will empower you for success in life. For nearly 20 years I have made a conscious decision to write down three to five things that I am grateful for every single day. This exercise in gratitude changed my life. Not only did I find myself being more appreciative but I also found myself advancing and achieving greater success in every area of my life. Gratitude is a practice that will forever transform your life.
2. Gratitude will destroy the root of pride in your life. The great thing about gratitude is that it humbles the heart. So many times we are being controlled and directed by our ambitions. We live in a very self-seeking and self-absorbed culture. I have been guilty of this as well. However, as I practiced gratitude I lost the me, myself and I mentality. I embraced a selfless mentality and became more focused on serving others. Gratitude forces us to mature. Gratitude is learning how to appreciate everything that arises in your life. You lose the "I" mindset and you develop a "we" mindset. No other force but gratitude can soften and open the human heart to unconditional love. Gratitude checks the ego and destroys pride in our lives.
3. Gratitude makes every moment in your life special. As I speak about the death of my friend a year later, it still hurts but I can truly say that a lot of healing has occurred in the last year. It still hurts but gratitude has been the force that has brought healing to my heart. I am grateful for the time that I was able to share with my friend. I am grateful for the memories, the lessons and the laughter that we shared. Gratitude is powerful because it empowers us. Gratitude is what causes the events that happen in our lives to produce evolution. Gratitude has become such a part of my life that I have learned to be thankful for even the simple things. This morning it is raining and cold outside. However, I have learned to be thankful for the rain knowing that it serves a purpose. When you can be thankful for every moment in your life you can make the most of your life. We shift from being ungrateful, uncaring and unfulfilled to grateful, giving and grounded human beings. Gratitude does a work in the heart.
4. Gratitude enriches your life. You have heard me say this before. We are all on a quest in our lives. We are on the quest to become the best versions of ourselves. No other force will empower you to become your best self but gratitude. The more grateful you are the more you discover what it means to live an authentic life. As human beings we all have a core desire for contentment. Our culture encourages covetousness; however, when you live a heart-centered life your goal is contentment. When you become proficient in the practice of gratitude you will contend for contentment in your life. Contentment is reaching the place in life where nothing has the power to move you. Contentment is refusing to allow anything to distract you and change the direction of your life. Contentment produces joy and causes you to live in the center of your calling. Contentment is finding perfect peace and certainty in every cycle of your life.