Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gratitude for Today

       "An attitude of gratitude...."  How often I hear that phrase.  At times when things are not going our way, it's more important than ever to be grateful for blessings.  A friend of mine in Brookline, Massachusetts, told me this after the April 15th bombings at the Boston Marathon. "Never let a day go by," she said, "when you don't think about your blessings."  Another friend in Brookline, over a year ago, told me that "our fears don't come true."  That is a powerful message.
    Like a lot of baby-boomers, I suppose, I worry about the future...who is going to take care of me in my old age, how will I adjust to changes in my body, yada, yada, yada. 
     Such thinking robs me of the present.  Happy people live in the present and just for today I will  pay attention to the beauty in my life today, and to the people that I love.
     A few days ago, I was introduced to someone in New Jersey and now we are "gratitude buddies."
     Every morning, we list five things we are grateful for and this is a wonderful day to start the day.  In fact, finding her gratitude message on my phone when I got in from the pool today was a great thing to hear.  She spoke of how she gave a neighbor a ride, how she is awaiting the birth of a new grandchild, and how she asserted herself with someone who had been taking advantage.

     Today, I'm grateful for the following things:

That I gave a difficult person a blessing in my mind. 
That I didn't criticize anything or anyone. 
That I let go of my fears.
That I wished a friend well on her visit to a distant medical center for back treatment. 
That I'll be leading an arthritis exercise class this afternoon. 
That I practiced a compassion meditation this morning. 
That I encouraged someone .  

   Writer John Tierney believes that cultivating an ''attitude of gratitude'' has been linked to "better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, and makes people less likely to turn aggressive when provoked."  Also, the practice of being grateful leads to higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others. 
     Feeling grateful can change your life! 

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