By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
Thanksgiving is more than a day on the calendar. It is a spiritual practice that challenges us to look for the good in the days, indeed the moments, of our lives. In times of trouble, this practice of finding moments of gratitude seems extra challenging. For many people, these times are fearful, scary and uncertain.
The question is: Can we still find gratitude?
Ironically, these are the very times where finding and acknowledging gratitude is necessary for our health and well being.
Gratitude gives us the energy to live, thrive and love. It is not so much an action that promotes complacency – although it could if we take the narrow view of it. Rather, gratitude is an action stimulates us to find the good wherever we are and gives us the motivation to share the good in our world.
There are many ideas about how to promote gratitude and I’ve written about some of them through the years – keeping a gratitude journal or a gratitude box, for example.
Lately, I’ve been charmed by the sweet little book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
On its surface, it looks like yet another book about how to organize our closets, especially if we have too much “stuff.” But deepen into its message, and you’ll find support for a daily practice of gratitude, happiness and focus what sparks joy.
At night, when you undress, Marie suggests that you carefully put away your clothes and shoes with thanks:
I like this. With this kind of appreciation, our belongings transcend being mere objects to use and then throw away. Instead, they are infused with a sense of value. We begin to feel a relationship with them that is caring, and we might start to extend that relationship to ourselves and to each other.
What a grateful world that would be.
Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is an author, trainer and psychotherapist who promotes, practices and teaches experiential methods including psychodrama, Family and Systemic Constellations, sand tray, mindfulness and Tarot imagery.
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