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Thursday, November 20, 2008

What are you thankful for?

The first snowflakes of the season blew past my window this week, and most of the leaves have fallen: it's almost time for our national day of Thanksgiving. And that reminds me of a hot August day when Reiki Master Lisa Oz spoke about an exercise that could create a day filled with gratitude in a different way.

It's simple: Practice saying "thank you" every day. At first, just say "thank you" to everything that happens, good or bad. Just be grateful for it all. Then try alternating: one day, say "thank you" for everything that goes your way; the next, say "thank you" for everything that doesn't.

"The goal is to see how often things really do go your way, and to see the gift in things you thought were negative," Mrs. Oz said.

I've done that exercise many times since that day more than a year ago, though I've never been able to remember to do it for a full day nonstop. But that's not the point, really. In addition to the goal Mrs. Oz mentioned, there is an even greater benefit: even intermittently remembering to say "thank you" at every opportunity can cast the whole day in a different light. 

I say "thank you" when I wake up in the morning, "thank you" when I go to bed at night. I say "thank you" to the bus driver when I step off at my destination, "thank you" when someone holds the door for me. And I'm getting better at saying "thank you" when it doesn't come so naturally: "thank you" to the oblivious person who steps in front of me when I'm hurrying along the sidewalk, "thank you" to the person making outrageous demands, and "thank you" to other challenges and obstacles. Mrs. Oz is exactly right: what seems to be negative often turns out to be a gift. Frustrations can turn into blessings, or at least be accompanied by them.

Many translations of the Reiki precepts include some form of "be grateful," while some advise us to "be humble." To me, that means that practicing gratitude is part of regular self-care.

So for next week's special Thanksgiving issue, I'm inviting you to join me in expressing your gratitude. If there's something, anything, for which you feel like saying "thank you," add your comments to this post on The Reiki Digest web site, or email me at to express your gratitude for anything that's happened to you this year. 

I hope we'll have a feast of responses.


Blogger gneblu said...

I am thankful for a healthy family. I am thankful for a secure job in this tough economy.
I am thankful for a community of like-minded souls to share my energy work with.
I am blessed by so many things.

9:27 AM  

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