The new year of 2012 has arrived. How is it that time seems to go by so quickly? Whether we have experienced sorrows, joys, setbacks or triumphs, time marches on and we find ourselves beginning a new year, indeed, 12 years into the new century. What will this new year bring?
Although many things are beyond our control, how we view and respond to them is a choice. More importantly, the choices in our own personal lives have the power to greatly determine our experiences each day, which add up to a year and beyond. Ancient texts, philosophers, prophets, and even contemporary works across the world seem to come to similar conclusions about what makes a satisfying and joyful life. Make the choice to be grateful to be alive, work to fulfill your personal destiny, and have gratitude for the blessings found each and every day that are part of your journey.
The December holidays are over and some may feel blue that the excitement is over or family members have gone their separate ways that live at a distance from us. If that's the case, (or even it isn't) how about some reflection, even written, of the good times that were experienced? Many are probably simple things that money can't buy and are the same things that people have cherished throughout time such as health, family, faith, shelter, friends, and even good food. Are we that much different than the pioneers? Remember the scene from Little House on the Prairie when Laura was so grateful to have a warm house, a tin cup and peppermint stick for Christmas? In her series of Little House books, despite all the hardships, she always described the love and blessings in the life of her family. We, too, can learn to more readily recognize the bounty in our lives. By doing this, we may even experience more good things. Some call this the "law of attraction." In other words, what we choose to focus on is what we get the most of each day. Focus on the positive if we want more of that in our lives. Conversely, what is our focus if we seem to have so many negative experiences?
Gratitude was shown by the pioneers for such things as family, health, shelter, and food that still make us happy today and make it a good year.
To have a good year in 2012, we might seriously consider a manner of formally recognizing our blessings. It could be as simple as keeping a weekly or daily list or journal. In a book called "Simple Abundance," the author suggests writing down at least five things for which you are grateful for at the close of each day. She said that the very experience of doing this is humbling because we see all the riches we have that we have taken for granted; that there is so much abundance already in our lives. She asks the question of how we can ever expect more from our God when we don't appreciate what we already have. Once we take inventory of our lives, our lists will easily grow. Additionally, when we seek the best and give our best, it is returned to us in ways we can't even imagine. It's that "law of attraction," or as the author states, the ancient spiritual law that the more we have and are grateful for, the more will be given to us.
For practical purposes and to get started on this journey which has the power to transform our lives in a very short time, the author J. Hilton of an article called "Take a Gratitude Challenge," outlines an easy way to get started. In fact, he says a list of 100 things does not even scratch the surface of what God has given us. You will have a list of 10 times 10 to equal 100, or in other words, 10 things in 10 categories. List 10 things for which you are grateful in the areas of physical abilities, material possessions, living people, deceased people, nature, things about today, places on earth, modern inventions, foods, and 10 things about the gospel or your faith. In doing this now and throughout the year we are making the choice to be grateful, to have a more grateful heart, and not carelessly throw away each day. As the author of "Simple Abundance" says, when we are negative, we cease to live and just merely exist. Be grateful as in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, where indeed, our Father in Heaven even commands us to be thankful in all things.
Make it a good day, week, and year by recognizing your blessings, Mary and Rosamond
#1 Gratitude shown by the pioneers for such things as family, health, shelter, and food are still what make us happy today and make it a good year.