Celebrate with Gratitude

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Spirit Flags
“Don’t be afraid to say ‘I love you’ if you feel it. Simple but powerful words change lives.”

This image was taken years ago when I visited a beautiful castle in Sweden. I can’t recall a specific meaning or purpose for the flags, but do remember being drawn to the festive colors that glowed softly in the sunlight. Something about that simple textile offering amidst the formal domes of the aged architecture marked a time for celebration. What better time to reflect on celebration than Mardi Gras, the last big party leading to the Lenten season.

It is the simple moments that call for celebration. We are accustomed to celebrating landmarks – birth, graduation, marriage, even death. But in the busyness of our days we lose sight of the simple pleasures and moments that make a life. Gratitude is one of the quickest paths to a joyful life and directly correlates to your level of satisfaction with life.

By focusing on gratitude we shift our attention to what is good and positive in our lives. A warmth permeates us from our very core. Negativity falls away.

If you have trouble finding grateful moments, try keeping a daily gratitude journal. Regardless of how bad your day was, write down five things you were grateful for that day. Keep the journal next to your bed. On a good day, make as long a list as you can think of with each item on a separate piece of paper. Put all the pieces in a jar and pull one out each morning to remind yourself of gratitude.

Celebrate your life by expressing gratitude to those you love. In the words of William Arthur Ward, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” Give a compliment. Pay attention. Listen. Offer a helping hand. Accept help when offered. Don’t be afraid to say ‘I love you’ if you feel it. Simple but powerful words change lives.

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