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Sunday, August 30, 2015

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The transformative power of daily gratitude

Tags: Health Judy Librach

When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.

Recently, I began hosting a new television series called Finding Your Bliss on Rogers TV, and a few common denominators about bliss have become evident to me. They are things like calming breaths, the power of kindness, generosity of spirit, and always staying in a place of gratitude.

On the program, we have had a few shining examples of how taking even some baby steps toward your goals can result in books being written and comedy and singing careers launched. Having an action plan can create a giant step toward a more fulfilling life. I am so thankful to watch people step into their light and fulfil some of their dreams and aspirations.

I thought about the concept of gratitude and wondered, “What about tragedy and loss, pain and disappointment, the death of a loved one, the breakup of a marriage. How can one possibly find gratitude in times of suffering? In searching for this answer, I came across this reflection by author Terry Lynn Taylor: “Gratitude is the most direct line to God and the angels. If we take the time, no matter how crazy and troubled we feel, we can find something to be thankful for. The more we seek gratitude, the more reason the angels will give us gratitude and joy to exist in our lives.”

In Living Life as a Thank You: The Transformative Power of Daily Gratitude, Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons write about how if we focus on the blessings in our life, even in the midst of great adversity, that “gratitude can turn painful memories into gifts.”  

There’s a beautiful story in the book about a young girl who lost her mother to cancer. But just before her mother died, the girl was hospitalized for an infection, and they got to spend one week of uninterrupted time, playing board games, cards and just spent lots of quality time together.

“Today, 25 years later, thinking about that night still brings tears to my eyes. But thinking about those weeks before my mother died makes me smile. It turns out my infection was no accident. It was a gift – a chance to spend uninterrupted time with my mother, to enjoy ourselves and bask in our love for each other. For that I will be forever grateful.”

For people facing challenges in their lives, the chapter on Living Life as a Thank You is very helpful for rediscovering how gratitude can create happiness in our lives.

“When you look at the world “through the lens of gratefulness and thanks for what is, life becomes an answered prayer. Grace steps in and we develop a faith that hope is possible,” the authors write.

Gratitude can also be used as a spiritual tool in our lives, even with our children. A great exercise is to ask your child to write a prayer of thankfulness. Then ask them to draw a picture to go with the story.

There are studies that show that “gratitude makes us healthier and that giving thanks makes us happier and resilient, and it strengthens relationships and reduces our stress. When we give thanks, we feel more connected to the flow of life, and less alone in our struggles and fears.”

Judy Siblin Librach is an Adler-trained coach. You can reach her at the website www.findingyourbliss.com. Her new TV series, Finding Your Bliss, is on Rogers TV (Channel 10 in Toronto) on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. live, with repeats on Thursdays at 4 p.m. and Fridays at 1 p.m.

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