Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gratitude...The Path to Joy

Our company just left, the kitchen is cleaned, the antique china has been put away and all of the Thanksgiving leftovers have been stored for future meals. As I sit here looking at this picture, I have a renewed and deeper sense of gratitude.

The path my thoughts are traveling right now is about the connection between gratitude and joy. When I truly tune into how blessed I am in so many ways and feel the abundance of life around me, I cannot help but feel joyful. Try it sometime when you're feeling angry or upset.....just focus deeply on something for which you are grateful. You cannot feel negative emotion and gratitude at the same time.

Many of us, although we enjoy abundance in life of things like food, clothing and homes with heat, still focus on what is missing. We complain about the cost of living, yet we want more. We want bigger houses, bigger bank accounts, fancier cars and create misery for ourselves as we complain. When we focus on lack, we feel lack and associated disappointment, sadness and even anger. When we focus on the many every day blessings we enjoy, we feel joy.

I imagine the young man in this picture is grateful for his dog, his last meal and the handful of dog food on the sidewalk beside him. Without knowing this man's story, I would bet that more than anything he is grateful for the love of his dog.

What are you most grateful for right now?