Not too many years ago I determined that I needed to wake up each morning thankful for 10 things and go to sleep each night thankful for 10 more. At that time my life was shrouded in a cloud far from the life I wanted to be leading. I wanted to see the light. I wanted to walk in the light. I wanted to be the light.
I wasn't inspired by one single source of information but rather a collective of information from various sources and memories of other dark times. Always it has been gratitude - focusing on what was meaningful and positive - that has taken me to a better place.
At first it was very challenging. I was counting toes and fingers and eyes and any other simple thing I would find to be thankful about. But that was good. I go back to those from time to time with a greater appreciation of awareness of how very much we take for granted. Thinking of my Dad and dialysis, I am thankful for healthy kidneys. Thinking of others I am thankful for a fairly healthy memory. And as my thankfulness has grown I see things anew. Outside of my designated thankful moments, I say 'Wow, look at those stars!" I thank the people around me more. I am even more thankful for those who challenge or provoke me. Everything has become an opportunity for thankfulness.
I don't always remember to do this but hang onto it more closely than I ever have in my life. And the more I practice it, the better life becomes.
Some say that life cannot be all "warm and fuzzy". That is true. But we are each in full control of what we do with each moment. We are in awe of those who face great odds and find a way to overcome them. I believe it is centered in gratitude. If we can find a way to be thankful beyond all, we can conquer all.
Everyone has a story to tell. Be thankful to hear it. Everyone does something better than you. Be thankful for the chance to learn it. Every challenge we face has opportunity for growth. Be thankful to discover it. When you face a challenge - count those 10 before you make any rash decisions.
An attitude of gratitude will take you far. Then count 10 more.