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Exercising Gratitude

I’ve just spent the day with family having Thanksgiving dinner. I’m in Iowa for the week. It’s colder, but nice to catch up with family and old friends. My mother had a game for us after the meal. There were names of each person at the table written on small pieces of paper in a bowl. Each person chose a name and wrote something nice about that person, it was put back in the bowl and then they were all read aloud.

People had to guess who it was written about, and who wrote it. As much fun of her as my brother and I made, it really was a sweet idea. My dad got me and wrote, “Deena tries really hard in her career. Great stuff.” Total Dad writing, but I think it’s a nice way for everyone to be recognized. What did you do for Thanksgiving?

I’m so grateful for my family, friends, my man, doing what I love (my art), and of course, pie! Now is a time of reflection, so I want to talk about gratitude and the practice of it.

I’ve learned that the times when I exercise gratitude are when I feel happiest in my life. When I was exercising gratitude it wasn’t when I had the most (often the opposite).

I was practicing gratitude everyday when I woke up, and trained myself to recognize all that I had, rather than what I lacked. It would be something small like the light coming through the window in the morning, or the tea I was drinking. When I lived in a state of gratitude for the little things, I started to notice the big things and my perspective on life shifted. My mental state improved and I become happier.

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