Slices of white turkey, left over stuffing and mashed potatos fill my fridge. Warm energies from our last night’s friends still encompass the house. With a family holiday today, life is feeling pretty good. The hot sun shining in October is a bonus I could have wished for. I am still resonating from Thanksgiving dinner.

After having had recovered from illness, I am aware of how much our thoughts affect our mood, our health and our over-all happiness. Awareness
of giving thanks is a major part of our well-being. My healing process involved and still involves a very active sense of gratitude which I try to incorporate into my everyday life. Not only on Thanksgiving dinner.

I have even found a way to become appreciative of my illness itself! Without it, I am not sure i would have found the bliss i feel today. With a need to focus on my health, I learned what it takes to become truly happy. I learned what is important in life. It turns out, that worrying and dwelling on the past or wishing for things to be different and wanting, wanting, wanting (which we have all been conditioned for) are not productive thought patterns and are not conducive to a happy life.

I’m sure most people who have recovered from health difficulties, whether themselves or someone they love, can attest to the mere joy of gratitude for something as taken for granted as our health. If we are healthy, we don’t tend to think about it. We go about our daily business. But if we have struggled with health, than we know that this is the most important thing in life. Well, actually love is. Love for ourselves leads to health, thereafter radiating to others.

I try to do yoga, deep breathing and meditation as often as I can. The most important thing for me, is not being hard on myself when I don’t do it. I have two kids, two dogs and a husband. Life is  busy. I try and take time for myself, and I notice a difference in my happiness when I do, but the key is not kicking myself when I choose not to. Gentleness and kindness are other importance aspects of over-all health and happiness.

When I do get a chance to get on the mat and soak in the silence and myself, I feel the deepest sense of gratitude. At the end of practice, it is my ritual to give thanks to the universe for having me as a part of it, to the Buddha for being so enlightened and connected to this universe, and then I bow my head and give thanks for three things that I am grateful for. The first three things that come to mind usually involve my kids, my husband, a friend or family member, my home, or anything else that is current. The more often I take a minute out of my busy thoughts for this type of love, I feel a deeper sense of it. Thoughts multiply. They grow like plants (or weeds if they are negative), therefore when I think happy thoughts, in turn, I become happier. It sounds like common sense, or even too simple to be true, but take it from me, it works. Turkey or not, give thanks. It can change your life.