Since this is the month of Thanksgiving, this is the perfect time to talk about one of my favorite topics — gratitude.  Once I figured out how to put my attention on my blessings rather than my shortcomings, my life changed radically for the better.  Gratitude creates abundance.  It is the foundation of joy.  (It was certainly the foundation for Demanding Joy!)

Gratitude continues to be an extremely powerful tool for changing the way I think about myself and about the world.  If you don’t already have a daily gratitude practice, I highly recommend that you try it.  While things like mindfulness and meditation take practice, gratitude may be more easily accessible.  It’s very simple – what in your life makes you feel thankful?  For example, take a few minutes at the beginning and end of each day to ponder what’s good about that day.  Or when you’re walking or driving, look around and notice how many good things you can see, like a pretty tree, a green traffic light, a cool bit of architecture, that interesting cloud, how cute that kid is, a funny license plate, the shirt you’re wearing, the yummy smell of that restaurant, the interesting texture of that wall, whatever!

The flip side of this is that you can’t be happy and successful if you’re focused on what’s lacking.  Obsessing about what sucks will increase the suck.  Spending a lot of time thinking about cellulite and poverty?  You’re just ordering up more cellulite and poverty.  So let’s flip it around.  Rather than what you don’t like, what do you want to create more of?  What’s good?

The more you practice gratitude, the more easily gratitude will come - just like strengthening a muscle.  The more you do it, the better you will be at it.  So once you recognize how fortunate you are, celebrate it!  Toast to good things.  Say “thank you” – a lot.  As often as possible, say “yay!” and acknowledge your blessings.  When you finish a project, take time to celebrate the journey and the accomplishment before you move on to the next task. It feels so good!

Enjoy this beautiful day!