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Only Happens Once in Our Lifetime!

Happy Thanksgivukkah!
 
Did you know that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah won’t fall on the same day for another 79,043 years? So why wait another day to tell everyone in your life how thankful you are!  With Thanksgiving and Hanukkah on the same day this year, it's an auspicious time for doubly noting our good!
 


Whether you are a friend of mine, a past client (they really are one in the same), or just happened to have found yourself following me – I want to share a big THANK YOU. I wouldn't be here without all of you.  Thank you for the opportunity to be of service!
 
And please, take a moment to let me know what you are especially grateful for this holiday season. Write your post below.
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The Hebrew term for gratitude is hikarat hatov, which means, literally, "recognizing the good." Practicing gratitude means recognizing the good that is already yours.  Buddha called it 'an attribute of noble persons.' In the Christian world, 'Eucharist' is the Greek word for giving thanks. 
 
Even non-religious savants like the Roman statesman Cicero and the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche had good things to say about gratitude. Cicero called it 'the parent of all other virtues' and Nietzsche called it 'the essence of all beautiful art.'
 
When you open up to the trait of gratitude, you see clearly and accurately how much good there is in your life. Gratitude affirms. Those things you are lacking are still there, and in reaching for gratitude no one is saying you ought to put on rose-colored glasses to obscure those shortcomings. Many tend to focus so heavily on the deficiencies in our lives that we barely perceive the good that counterbalances them.
 
There is no limit to what we don't have and if that is where we put our focus, then our lives will inevitably be filled with endless dissatisfaction. This is the ethos that lies behind the great biblical proverb, "Who is rich? Those who rejoice in their own lot." (Pirkei Avot 4:1)
 
When you live charged with gratitude, you will give thanks for anything or anyone who has benefited you, whether they meant to or not. Imagine a prayer of thanks springing to your lips when the driver in the car next to you lets you merge without protest, or when the water flows from the tap, or the food is adequate?
 
Science - in the form of research data gathered by Robert A. Simmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis - recently demonstrated that the regular practice of thankfulness has a definite and positive transformative effect on people's lives.
 
Here's the experiment Simmons conducted. He took two groups of people:  a control group that did nothing and a second group who spent a few minutes once a week jotting down who they should thank and for what.  Here's what Simmons found: In comparison with the control group, the group that kept a weekly 'thank you' journal "exercised regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the upcoming week."
 
In a second experiment, he introduced something called a 'daily gratitude intervention' in which the test group spent a little time every day on focused gratitude.  This group demonstrated "higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy." Makes sense. Gratitude is the reliving of positive memories and a workout of positive emotions. That's got to be good for your brain chemistry.
 
When gratitude is this well established, it is a sign of a heart that has been made right and whole. Gratitude can't coexist with arrogance, resentment, and selfishness.
 
This year, take a moment to go around the table with those you will be sharing a meal. Ask each person to mention a few of the people, places or things they are grateful for then, listen deeply.  Keep a gratitude journal and let others who come into your home add to the pages.
You will learn so much about your friends, family and colleagues (and they about you) by using this simple activity… and not just during the holidays.
 
Let's practice a year charged with gratitude!
 
In Your Gratitude Corner,
 
Phyllis

 
Twitter:           @PhyllisMMiller
Web:               www.ImageForSuccess.com



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