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Posted on 11-02-2015

Let's all give thanks and giving this year for THANKSGIVING!!!

Giving thanks takes practice, however. We get better at it over time. Gratitude is one of the keys of the spiritual life. It is essential if we are to read the sacred significance of our daily lives.

November is an especially good time to make gratitude your spiritual discipline. This emphasis braces us for the winter months and puts us in the right frame of mind for the gift-giving holiday season. So we've come up with a gratitude practice for every day up to and including Thanksgiving. We start by giving thanks for the things close at hand and as the days move toward the feast day at the end of the month, we extend the boundaries of our thanks-giving.

Nov. 1: Spirit. Express your gratitude in a note or a phone call to a person whose ministry in daily life nurtures your faith. Thank God for this saint in your life.

Nov. 2: Appreciation. Take time to enjoy something you own but have ignored — a piece of jewelry or a flower vase — and express your gratitude for its beauty by dusting it off and using it.

Nov. 3: Walk. Go on a quiet, meditative walk through your house. Stop and say prayers of thanks for all the good experiences you have had in each room.

Nov. 4: Slow eating. While you are eating a meal, be grateful for the food by savoring each piece with all your senses.

Nov. 5: Choose one thing you use every day — perhaps a favorite pen or a cooking pot — and say a prayer over it, acknowledging how it helps you serve others and God.

Nov. 6: Wash your car or clean your telephone and tell God/Universe how much you appreciate how these things help you make connections with other people.

Nov. 7: Show your gratitude for the gifts of nature by incorporating some of them — leaves, twigs, acorns, rocks, sand, etc... into a table centerpiece for Thanksgiving.

Nov. 8:  Find a special way to express your gratitude to a part of your body; for example, give your feet or hands a good massage.

Nov. 9:  Go to the store and buy the prettiest set of Thank You notes you can find. Don’t forget to get some stamps too. Fill them out. Send them to people you love.

Nov. 10:  Give everyone you connect with a compliment. Compliments are really expressions of gratitude. When we say “I love your new haircut” in a sense, what we’re really saying is “Thanks for bringing some more beauty into the world.”

Nov. 11:  Say grace. Most people are uncomfortable with saying grace before meals but you don’t have to be a religious fanatic to be thankful for your food, for the means to buy it and make it and for the farmers who grew it.

Nov. 12:  Donate. When we can give things away we are expressing our gratitude to the Universe that we recognize that we already have enough.

Nov. 13:  Volunteer. When we are given so much in life, we must give back. Returning the favor is a way of demonstrating that we acknowledge our own abundance.

Nov. 14:  Keep a gratitude journal. Every evening write down a few things you were thankful for that day.

Nov. 15:  Be grateful on social media. I have a friend who makes her daily Facebook status a list of three things for which she is thankful each and every day. Her statuses are such a positive reminder and her friends look forward to them.

Nov. 16:  Be direct. Go ahead and tell people you are thankful for them! Don’t worry, you won’t sound weird.

Nov. 17:  Thank others for what they do, not just for material gifts.

Nov. 18: When someone compliments you, accept it with a smile and a “thank you.” Don’t try to argue with a compliment or convince someone that you don’t deserve it.

Nov. 19: Never refuse a gift. Be open and gracious about receiving. We must allow others the opportunity to give as well.

Nov. 20: When you go out to eat, let the manager know that your server did a great job and that the chef cooked your meal to perfection.

Nov. 21:  Fill out comment cards at businesses and let them know their employees did a good job or that you like their product or service.

Nov. 22: Incorporate gratitude into your exercise routine. When I practice yoga, I’ve created a habit of mentally saying “thank you” to the Universe each time the teacher guides us to swan dive into a forward fold.

Nov. 23:  Remind yourself to be grateful. Frame a favorite quote about gratitude and keep it somewhere where you can see if often.

Nov. 24:  Use positive affirmations. Each morning when you awake or whenever you meditate repeat something to the effect of: “My life is filled with joy and abundance and I am deeply grateful for all that I have.”

Nov. 25: Make a gratitude board. Most people are familiar with vision boards and we make them to attract the things we want. Instead, how about making a big, gorgeous collage of all the things you already have and love as a way of honoring your present bounty?

Nov. 26: Pray. Too often during prayer we focus on lack, asking for what we think we need. It’s ok to ask the Universe for things, but we also need to say thanks for what we’ve been given.

Nov. 27: Remember to thank yourself. Thank your body for getting you around, for creating children or not, for laughing, for feeling good or whatever it does for you. Thank yourself for your hard work, your efforts and your talents. Thank yourself for your unique spirit and its contribution to the world, no matter how small you may believe it is.

Nov. 28: Mantras. Start out about your day, say to yourself, “I am grateful.  I feel great.  I feel amazing.”  When you meet up with other people, smile and thank them for helping you (no matter what).  Everyone is a gift.  Everyone has a gift.  Silently, I say to  yourself, “I am grateful for you.”   Then, put your attention in your heart area and feel a sense of gratitude.  Breathe in gratitude.

Nov. 29: Gratitude. At the end of the day, take a piece of paper and write down all the people, places and things that you are grateful for.  Maybe you can list the reason why or  list a quality that I truly appreciate in that person.

Nov. 30: Deep Breaths. When you wake up, take a few deep breaths and thank the air for filling your lungs (after all, where would we be without air).  Close your eyes, put your attention in your heart area and feel a sense of gratitude, which is a warm, joyful feeling . I repeat to yourself, “I feel grateful.”

Practice mindfulness to be grateful. Make a specific point out of constantly looking for things to be grateful for. I promise you will find them. Have a beautiful Thanks Giving and LOVE yourself even more!!! I am Thankful for YOU!

References: 

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/11/20-ways-to-give-thanks/

http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/practices/features.php?id=16274

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