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An Attitude of Gratitude - The Importance of Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving comes once a year, and it's a wonderful time to reflect on our blessings and give thanks. But should we only give thanks once a year? Being tuned into the blessings that come your way every day is the foundation for building an extraordinary life. Even in the hardest of times, there are still things to be grateful for. You attract what you focus on, so focus on the positive! Here are some things that you can be grateful for, not just today, but every day:

1. Family

Mike and I have a large family full of wonderful and fascinating personalities, and there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not thanking God for every single one of them! We've had so many wonderful experiences, but we've also had some really rough times in the past 30 years, including times where we lost almost everything. In those times especially, you realize just how important and special family is. It is our rock, and we always know that we have each other, no matter how bad everything else might be going. The bad times will pass, but family is forever.

Gratitude Family pic

This picture of my family was taken during the most challenging time we ever faced, after having lost almost everything in the crash of 2008. The most important thing we had was still intact, however - the gift of each other.

2. Friends

We've lived in several places, and it's such fun to make new friends in each place. Our friends help give us perspective and support. They come from different backgrounds and have different stories to share of their experiences, their joys, and their struggles with adversity. Besides, what would a party be without friends??

Gratitude birthday party

Birthday party for Lauren and Christina, who share the same birthday!

3. Your Body

Too often we are so critical of our bodies; we're too fat, too thin, too tall, too short, too ugly, whatever. Enough!! Let's start with the seemingly small things:

- Can you see a gorgeous sunset? Be thankful for your eyes!

- Can you hear beautiful music? Be thankful for your ears.

- Can you taste a sumptuous meal? Be thankful for your tastebuds.

- Can you lift a toddler and carry him around? Be thankful for your arms and legs.

Your body can do amazing and wonderful things! Love yourself and be grateful for all the things that are right. Of course, you can always work on making improvements in your health, but don't beat yourself up about your imperfections! Until you find yourself six feet under in a pine box, know that you have so much to be thankful for, and make the most of it!

Gratitude Body

My daughter Christina, on a trip to the Philippines

4. The Beauty of Nature

When was the last time you took some time out to appreciate all the beautiful colors of the sunrise and sunset? Went on a hike? Swam in a lake? Snow-skiied? Walked along the ocean shore? We live in such a beautiful world. No matter where you live, there is something breathtaking there. Take notice, and be thankful!

Gratitude Sunset

5. Blessings of Plenty

Do you have food and a roof over your head? You may or may not have much more than that, but if you have food and a roof over your head, you are quite wealthy compared to some parts of the world. Take a minute to think about that, and resolve to do something to help those less fortunate.

Gratitude Fruit Basket

If you're not already in the habit of living with an attitude of gratitude, then make this Thanksgiving your Day 1 of Grateful Living, and watch your life transform!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment below! Happy Thanksgiving!!

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