We all know the feeling of dread that begins with the early flurries of holiday decorations in the stores, then swells as catalogs pour through the mailbox, and the pages of the calendar blow by, reminding us that time is not on our side. Our minds swirl with plans, questions, and concerns as cards, packages, and endless to-do lists pile up like snowdrifts in our homes. Let’s face it: holidays often feel more like a class-five blizzard than a peaceful sleigh ride through the snow. Add the gift of gratitude on your list this holiday season.
You may have little or no control over of the storm of parties, shopping, and guests the season brings, but you can quiet the chaos, and refresh your spirit, by beginning or renewing your commitment to a fundamental, age-old, time-honored spiritual practice. This busy season is the perfect opportunity to give yourself and everyone on your gift list the ultimate gift of gratitude.
Gratitude is actually a physical energy. Modern science has proved what all the great religions and cultures have taught us for centuries: thankful prayer is a powerful, physical, palpable energy that can be measured and documented. Studies have shown an openness of the heart improves physical and mental well-being, demonstrating what William Blake observed centuries ago, “Gratitude is Heaven itself.”
Stop for a moment, center yourself on your heart, and be grateful for something in your life right now. Breathe slowly and deeply. Be truly grateful. Notice the immediate transformation of your mind, body, and soul. You have entered a state of grace: a life-giving, healing energy stream that is available at any moment.