Giving Thanks

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”
― John Henry Jowett

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Thankfulness has a much different connotation to me than the work gratitude. When one is in the state of being grateful, they are attuning their soul to their innermost thoughts. It is a private, inward experience. A way of Being—analytical and reflective. However, thankfulness or being thankful means that action in the present is being taken. One is purposefully thanking Providence, God or the Universe for any number of things that a person is glad for or joyful about. A person may also be thanking others for their words and services—perhaps their very being.

“Joy is thankfulness, and when we are joyful, that is the best expression of thanks we can offer…” ― Thaddeus of VitovnicaOur Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Thankfulness is a sign something or someone has brought us joy—that our world is that much happier of a place to be in. In other words, we are happier people due to the fact that we have something or someone we are grateful for. Yet, true happiness comes in the act of verbalizing or demonstrating our thankfulness in meaningful ways.

So … it seems fairly clear to me …

If you want to be happy and have a joy-filled life, be grateful for your blessings.

But more importantly, speak out your thankfulness in both word and deed. Make clear to the Infinite Presence as well as those who cross your path that you are thankful for who they are and what they do!

 

Sleep, Stress, and the Impossible To-Do List


I have often heard it said that the faster a person goes, the faster they have to go. In other words, business is addicting. So much so, that the more a person accomplishes in a single day, the more the feel compelled to accomplish the next day. And the next and the next! I personally have had the experience of feeling emotionally happy if I complete my To-Do list like crap if I don’t. Talk about self-imposed stress!

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Yet I know that I am not the only person to deal with this “Busy is Best” epidemic. As an American I have been schooled to think that action is everything—progress, achievement, a sense of self-worth. Unfortunately, the faster I go, the faster my mind goes. And when my day is being dictated by what To-Do list item needs to be met next, my mind never seems to have a chance to rest, relish the present moment, or reflect. My thoughts feel as if they are spinning dervishly like a top—afraid if I stop “doing” I’ll lose my edge and drop.

The price one pays for running at this racing clip is collected at night when one cannot get to sleep nor stay asleep. Insomnia sets in and the risk of becoming ill or seriously in danger of depleting one’s immune system sneaks up on us and wields a mighty blow. Then to keep going we succumb to sucking down coffee, ingesting sugary foods, and relying on nicotine to supplant the edge that is slowly but surely disappearing from us.insomnia2

And then at the end of the day to wind down we often resort to too much TV, too many video games, and too many hours surfing the internet. Now we can’t sleep no matter how hard we try. What’s worse is we think have a sleeping disorder, which we do symptomatically speaking, but what we really have is a To-Do list of the first order.

insomniaMy suggestion is three-fold. First, get rid of your To-Do list, or at the very least shorten it. Second, find time to supplant business with relaxation—like a bubble bath, a walk in nature, meditation or a short nap. Finally, take time out before going to bed at night to slowly prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep. Stay away from chemical stimulants as well as technology and media influences so that your body as well as your mind have a chance to slow down before you attempt to close your eyes. I know it will not be easy at first to follow this recipe for we are already addicted to the speediness of our day. However, I promise you in the long run you will have an even more productive day as a result as well as a more restful and healthy sleep.