"Tadpole, many of your human friends will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week. The idea of giving thanks, the idea of gratitude, is something we can all do more of. While it's nice to have a special day for giving thanks, gratitude is best when it becomes a daily habit. Discipline is something that we study, an area of specialty. Wouldn't it be wonderful, my boy, if frogs and humans chose to make gratitude a discipline of the heart; something that we study and practice for an entire lifetime? It is only with gratitude that a frog's life becomes rich. I believe this true for humans, too" "Yes, Dharma, the whole world would be better for it."
Having gratitude for a cozy home and loving friends is a pretty easy thing to do. But being grateful for the storm clouds in life isn't always as easy. But Dharma explained to me that just when thankfulness seems to be in short supply, that is the very time we need it most. Most of us have begun to think of gratitude as an emotion...simply another response to our circumstances. Dharma believes that is a mistake. When things are going well, it’s easy to respond with a thankful heart. But in the seasons where things are difficult, thankfulness never even enters our mind. By thinking of thankfulness as a discipline of the heart, gratitude can become a life-altering designation. But it takes conscious effort and practice.
I asked Dharma how I could learn to be a more grateful frog and he offered a simple solution. His advice is to schedule 5-minute periods of thoughtful thanksgiving each day; intentionally finding gratitude in simple joys. This might be reflecting on the past (particularly if your current season of life is a stormy one), keeping a gratitude journal (on-paper or on-line), expressing thankfulness during life’s little inconveniences (red lights, doctor waits), or seeing the perfection in each new day.
- A thankful heart breeds contentment. It appreciates the many gifts of life itself.
- A thankful heart promotes optimism. Optimism leads to enthusiasm and determination.
- A thankful heart brings healthy attentiveness. It finds time to slow down and count blessings.
- A thankful heart shifts the focus of attention from ourselves to others. It understands that our lives have been enriched by them.
- A thankful heart is more likely to help others.
- It humbly realizes it has benefited from others and as a result, is more apt to notice needs.
- A thankful heart attracts generous people and faithful friends.
- Studies have shown that having gratitude results in better physical health and a deeper mental awareness.
- Gratitude makes the enjoyable parts of life even more pleasurable and it helps to sustain us in times of stormy weather.
This Thanksgiving, I will be grateful for many things. One of the things that'll be high on my list will be you, dear reader. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and ideas with you through this blog. Every writer needs an audience. And without, I'd be writing all of this for not.
Dharma and I finished our meal and he stayed long enough to help me clean up. He could tell I was anxious to get on with my holiday. I am always grateful for Dharma Frog but even more so today. I wish you all a wonderful week; one that's filled with love, laughter, and gratitude. I 'll be back here again on Monday, but until then, stay safe and