Saturday, November 28, 2015

A still from one of Louie Swatzberg's time-lapse films of flowers
Thanksgiving is a time when we try to stop and acknowledge who and what we are thankful for.  We are also reminded that feeling and expressing gratitude can...
  • positively effecting blood pressure and decreasing physician visits
  • improve relationships with those to whom we express gratitude
  • increase personal happiness and motivation...we do better and feel better
  • decrease anxiety, depression and feelings of isolation
So for the last week we have been immersed in an awareness of feeling gratitude and how it can positively impact our biochemistry and general well being.  

But is all this gratitude only a wellness plan for us and the few we choose to share it with?  

My hope is that we can take the high we may feel from a week of gratitude immersion and use that to go beyond the personal. I believe this heart opening practice has the power to not only change us, but to change our world.  

So while I freely admit that I often fail to capitalize on all my daily opportunities to express gratitude, the idea that this special variety of loving kindness can positively impact the troubled planet challenges me in a way that lowering my blood pressure does not.  

I take Louie Schwartzberg film "Happiness Revealed" literally when it says "let the gratefulness overflow to a blessing to all that's around you".  I suggest we take the practice of gratitude we have re-engaged with this week to the next level by making it our service to the world.  

Be grateful for what does work on our planet, be grateful for all of those who are also trying to wage peace, and maybe even be grateful for those who are in our lives and our world who are teaching us the hard lessons wrought from our misbehavior in the past. 

So that's where I'm taking my gratitude from here.  I suggest you take the next ten minutes to watch one of Louie's inspiring TED talks, and see what you might be inspired to do with your gratitude throughout the year to come.

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