A few weeks ago I wrote this post about practicing gratitude in the everyday rhythms of life. In that post I also mentioned that I’d like to do a Thankful Thursdays guest series and invited other bloggers who were interested in writing a guest post to contact me. I was blown away by the response.
Over the past few years I’ve become absolutely convinced that there is a direct relationship between gratitude and joy. Some of the most joyful people I know are not the ones who have the best things or who don’t experience hardships. They are simply people who remain grateful for the gifts in their lives instead of becoming bitter or cynical.
More recently I have realized gratitude doesn’t always come naturally – it is something we have to practice. This can be difficult to do, especially when we don’t feel particularly thankful, but I am convinced it’s a spiritual discipline we are called to practice.
I asked writers to share their own thoughts and reflections on gratitude and the role that it plays in their lives.
Today we are kicking off the series with a post from Pradnya Vernekar. Pradnya is a new friend I “met” when she took the challenge to participate in her own 52 Weeks of Adventure. I’ve enjoyed reading about her adventures and getting to know her over the internet. As you’ll see from this post, Pradnya oozes positivity. I always finish her posts with a smile on my face. I hope you enjoy this reflection on the many things we can be thankful for.
Header Image Credit: Symphony of Joy on Flickr Creative Commons
I Live Gratitude
Gratitude for me means learning to live as if everything in life is a miracle. Gratitude for me means being thankful for all the abundance in my life. Gratitude for me means being surrounded by positive people with pure hearts. Gratitude for me means all of this and much more!
I thank God that I am able to experience and see the breathtaking sunrise with my eyes, that I can hear the waves lashing out at each other and calming down as they approach the shore, that I can smell the corn being grilled on the barbeque, that my tongue salivates to have a bite of that corn, that my feet sink in the sand and I feel I am drowning as the waves disappear back into the sea, that I can fill my palms with water and throw it at my soulmate for fun, that my heart pounds with life when I see a flock of birds intersecting the sunrise and flying over the waters in a single line, that my brain has such vital power to process so many beautiful things at once and let me appreciate the goodness in the world. I am just thankful that my body and my mind are in harmony and let me create happiness from the smallest of things! Many of us take the innumerable functions our body and mind carry out for granted, losing out on the best of life’s moments. Be thankful that you have everything intact in your body and try to acknowledge its greatness!
I thank God that I have 24 hours in a day to follow my heart and do things I love the most. I thank him that on a Monday evening with rain pouring outside, I can sit in my balcony, sipping hot coffee and doing what I love the most – writing! I am grateful to God for blessing me with this unique prowess of writing, enabling me to touch the hearts of people through my expressions in my own small way. I thank God for the love and affection I receive from my readers which cannot be measured in dollars.
I thank God that I get my nutritious meals on time and my home is filled with love and laughter, that I have a terrific soulmate who respects me, that my parents raised me to be a humble human being, that my sister holds my family together, that my in-laws are angels, that I have true friends who genuinely care for me!
I thank God every morning for giving me another day to explore, to enjoy, to learn and breathe! When my hands make a ‘namastey’ with eyes closed in front of God, I do not seek anything from Him. I just THANK Him for the unlimited abundance he has blessed me with and still continues with his blessings!
I simply live gratitude!
About the Author: Pradnya is a dynamic HR, an avid reader, an amateur poet and a natural writer. She is an ardent believer in God and tries to dig up happiness even in the darkest of mines. Join her as she takes you on a joyride called ‘life’ at Wanderings of my Mind and 52 Weeks of Adventure.
“I simply live gratitude.” What a great summation. I like your attitude and perspective on being grateful. I need to work on being more grateful as I tend to be more pessimistic and dislike that darker side of myself. Thank you for the reminder.
Great idea for a series, it is so easy to ignore all the small, simple things, but when we delight in them we find so much more joy, Have you ever noticed that the most encouraging people always seem to be the happiest too, whereas the people who tend to put others down are the most miserable. Looking forward to reading more in this series!
I agree that it’s really easy to take for granted simple things. And I think you’re right about the most encouraging people having a lot of joy. When I was still living at home and I would get into a funk, my mom used to tell me I needed to go find somewhere to serve. She always said it was hard to stay down and grumpy when you stopped focusing on yourself. I think maybe it’s the same principle for people that encourage others. They take the focus off of themselves and create more space for joy. Thanks for stopping by. I’m also looking forward to hearing from more writers.
Love that you point out the connection between gratitude and joy. That is such a great Biblical perspective. You see Biblical figures like Paul who were grateful despite awful circumstances. Gratitude and joy have nothing to do with possessions or circumstances. Great post!
Yes, I think that connection is an essential part of finding that joy that stays with us in spite of our circumstances. 🙂
So true. Gratitude changes everything. It makes our ordinary lives explode with vibrancy and colour. We spend our lives living for the next big thing that we forget that it’s the little moments in between that make up life’s sweetness. Great post!
Gratitude changes our hearts. And a change within ourselves means we can hold onto that joy no matter what our circumstances are. I have many other writers sharing on this topic over the next few months. Be sure to come back and check them out!
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Love love love this post. I’m convinced that we only find happiness through gratitude. By realizing how unbelievable lucky we are of having the luxury to be whining about our own troubles (when we hear so many horrible stories and suffering around us), or for complaining about our own physical appearance (when there are people dying at a hospital bed right now, wishing to have our troubles), only when we start realizing that this day, this moment, this second…it’s a HUGE gift from heaven, we encounter happiness, acceptance and peace. Great post!
I’m glad you enjoyed it! It’s a pleasure for me to share Pradnya’s thoughts here!
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Thank you everyone for the kind words!
No one has a perfect life, all of us struggle with our own battles. What matters is, how remember God and His blessings and plunge out of our battles with gratitude 🙂
Well the idea as i said earlier was amazing. And about this post
This post was really very inspiring and beautifully expressed. This idea of living gratitude is true and difficult to follow. Loved it
What a wonderful beginning to such a positive series! I loved this perspective! Great job!