Every morning one of the first things I do is to write down at least five things I have to be grateful for in my life. I have been doing this for years now. So many people I know do this in November in preparation for Thanksgiving, but every day is a day to give thanks, not just one month. So why not give thanks every day. Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance writes five things every night, but at night I am too brain dead to clearly think about what I am grateful for, so I write mine first thing in the morning as I sip on my morning coffee or tea.
It is not so much about when you give thanks but that you do. It is not so much about how much you have but your recognition of it and ability to give thanks for it. It is so easy to give thanks when life is going well. However, when we are going through a challenging time, sometimes it is hard to give thanks. It is hard to give thanks when you are going through. Yet this is the very time it is most important because doing so helps us to see how blessed we are. Practicing gratitude keeps us mindful that we have everything we need, even when it may not feel like it. For example, for three months of each year, I have little to no income. I can work on saving each month, but then the financial drought season hits. It is a frustrating time as life feels like window shopping. There are so many things I see that I want to do or would like to have, but they are not a necessity, so they stay where they are behind the window. It is in those moments that I have to stop and give thanks and remind myself or be reminded by my wife that we have an abundance. Even when it feels like we are struggling, we are living in a space of abundance.