In her novel 'Maya's Notebook' Isabel Allende describes the experience of loving as an opportunity to get to know yourself better. "Love makes us good. It doesn't matter who we love, nor does it matter whether our love is reciprocated or not, or if the relationship lasts. Just the experience of loving is enough, that's what transforms us." What if we bring that concept of love to our family gatherings this holiday season and not allow others' behavior to negatively impact our attitude? OK, maybe Aunt Mattie is annoyingly controlling and likes to boss everyone around. If we expect her to be different this year and get upset at what she does, and then withhold love on account of what we decide is her bad behavior, what does that say about us? Perhaps it simply says we might need to pay more attention to our practice of love and appreciation. Thanksgiving encourages us to verbalize our gratitudes and thereby increase our happiness as we remind ourselves of the bounty we already have.
What positive things do you have going in your life today that you can be grateful for? Making a list can help enhance your attitude of gratitude, and visually seeing something on paper or monitor stimulates memory functions in the brain in a way that just "thinking about it" does not. Don't forget to include the everyday things that we sometimes take for granted: electricity, sunlight, the ability to walk, vision, music, and especially your loved ones. Be grateful for the hard things that taught you lessons and helped you to grow. Sometimes losing something illuminates the path to appreciation but we don't need to wait for loss if we make appreciation part of our daily life.
Gratitude is always available as a choice, and seeing the world through that perceptional lens affords us a viewpoint that allows greater experience of joy. I suspect that the vibrational frequency of gratitude is very similar to the vibrational frequency of manifestation. And remember to allow yourself to be appreciated. If someone says that the pie you brought is delicious, or that you look fabulous, receive the appreciation, let it in, and gratefully play it forward. "Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world." -John Milton