Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

Melody Beattie from AZ

As we approach Thanksgiving, we can take the opportunity to celebrate the power of gratitude to help us grow as a practice and a way of being throughout the year.

Through our day-to-day- navigation of the stressors, challenges, gains, and losses of our lives, it is easy to lose sight of or genuinely appreciate the positive aspects of our lives. When this happens, we can succumb to taking these positives for granted or forgetting them entirely. If this happens, it can lead to negativity and potential neglect toward those aspects and people we love and enjoy.

Losing the experience of gratitude in our lives can rob us of some wonderful positive feelings that can, in turn, limit our understanding of happiness. When that happens, we can feel our lives become more limited, and any awareness of the possibilities life has to offer can be diminished.

A powerful way to combat the pitfalls described above is to develop a habit or practice of consciously noting and appreciating the good things and people we love. In other words, developing a habit of practicing gratitude.

Like any Yoga or other healing practice, incorporating this practice of gratitude can offer more than induce positive feelings. It can be a way of changing ourselves and our habits to see and operate from a new mindset entirely.

Many who cultivate this practice report gratitude practices offer a strong foundation of seeing the world in terms of abundance rather than lack or limitation. Moreover, as in the quote above by Melodie Beattie, the practice can reorient our worldview and experience more profoundly.

To create a gratitude practice that allows us to create change from the outside in, we consistently and consciously link grateful feelings with what we love in our lives. This can form and develop the intentions, habits, and actions to maintain and build upon these aspects.

Even more remarkably, many who formally practice gratitude do so not to experience grateful feelings toward what is in their life now but also direct gratitude towards what they want but don’t yet have in their lives. Doing so regularly steers them in the direction of clear and positive intentions and actions to bring these things into their lives. In other words, the practice of gratitude changes them over time. All this can be done with an aim toward manifesting something meaningful to the individual, whether it be financial or material abundance, other lifestyle enhancements, or more spiritual aspirations.

As with any effective Yoga or change practice done with clear intention, commitment, and consistency, the goals of change in our day-to-day lives may be realized from genuine changes within the deeper Self.

These inner changes are available to us all. Still, they may greatly benefit one momentarily or habitually struggling with a sense of lack or limitation. That is the true gift here.

Gratitude is not magic per se but instead is behind the magical effect of working skillfully under profound principles and laws of the mind and body to change how we see, know, and act in the world.

There are many reasons and ways to expand the experience of gratitude in your life. Some resources and suggestions can be found in the following articles.