Fall has made its entrance into the Northwest.  The landscape has changed showing off a brilliance of amber, gold, and bronze color spreading amongst the emerald evergreens. The cool crisp air causes my nose to run and my ears to hurt reminding me that it is time to find the bins labeled FALL CLOTHES.  Even Sam, my dog, hunkers down in her doghouse with a blanket when the sun is not out to warm her.

I don’t know why but Fall inspires me to be more thoughtful of what I have and what is around me.  Maybe it’s because we are on the brink of the Holiday Season, a time we talk about being thankful.  As a kid I was taught to make time to think about what I was grateful for.  As an adult I still practice this, not just during the Holidays but all year round.

There are times when I lose sight of what is good in my life especially when it tangles with hardship and circumstance that are beyond my control causing my attitude to turn sour and leaving me feeling empty at times.  This is when it’s time to be grateful reminding me that everything is going to be okay.  That there is still goodness around despite being amid a messy world that wants to drag me down.

Having gratitude allows me to slow down and think outside of my ME bubble where I fight, strive, and chase so hard for happiness.  I guess you can say that gratefulness anchors me to the present moment that gives me contentment.

“For my part, I am almost contented just now, and very thankful.  Gratitude is a divine emotion:  it fills the heart, but not to bursting; it warms it, but not to fever.” – Charlotte Bronte

There are benefits to being grateful such as it gives me a feeling of calmness and I realize that I don’t need the materialistic things that I strive so hard to obtain.  Being empathetic and forgiving releases the hate and grudges I may have and helps me to focus on others and their wellbeing.

Stress can be destructive, but gratefulness decreases the anxiety and tension and helps me to sleep more deeply.  Spiritually I am strengthened.

Psalm 100: 4-5  “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;  give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

I find that my relationships are more fulfilling and lasting.  With gratefulness there is a long-term happiness because it reaches beyond what is tangible making it endless.

Practicing being grateful can change your outlook on life.  When you wake up in the morning think of one thing you are thankful for, anything.  Sure, it’s hard at first but as you repeat this every morning, it will get easier.

For some folks keeping a gratitude journal is helpful.  It’s a great way to look back on and be reminded of what all you have to be thankful for.  Us humans do forget.

Take time during your day, whether on your lunch hour, in the car, at work, at the store, even at home. Look around you at all the small stuff.  There is a lot to be thankful for.

Being grateful helps us to feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order; confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

I thought it would be fun to do a ten-day challenge of gratefulness.  I will be posting daily something I am grateful for on my Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.  Join me in the Ten-Day-Grateful-Challenge and post what you are grateful for.  Let’s start off the Holiday Season with being GRATEFUL!




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