I am grateful for the many, many blessings in my life. This year has been particularly trying in so many ways (financially and emotionally, just to name a few) but when I look around me I realize I have very little to complain about....healthy and happy children, a loving husband, a small circle of friends that I love and love me in return....so many things to be thankful for.
After watching this series I have become an even bigger fan of Gwyneth Paltrow and, in turn, this site. The Thanksgiving newsletter was especially poignant and relevant for me and I hope it speaks to you as well.
"Yes, it’s easy to be grateful when something good has been done for you (although, sadly, even this healthy human response seems increasingly under challenge nowadays in our escalating culture of entitlement and victimhood). But have you ever thought about gratitude not as a response but as a force in its own right; an initiating and healing energy that is not dependent on external circumstances but is rather an innate power of the human soul? When understood and wielded in this fashion, it has the power to liberate us from our self-imposed prisons of self-pity and envy and to actually change the energy fields (and hence, the outcome) of our circumstances.
In plain words, we can actually change our reality by being grateful first; not as a response but as an innate way of being."
– Cynthia Bourgeault
Cynthia Bourgeault is an Episcopal priest, writer and retreat leader. She is founding director of the Aspen Wisdom School in Colorado and principal visiting teacher for the Contemplative Society in Victoria, BC, Canada.