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November 22, 2017

Although for Pagans, the harvest is technically over with Samhain, the third harvest festival, we can’t help but think of gratitude as Thanksgiving rolls around. After all, this is a national spiritual non-sectarian holiday – we might as well adopt it.

I like to think that every day is a day to reflect on gratitude, not just the day that we eat turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Being thankful to Spirit for the abundance in our lives – for the riches of family, friends, experiences, kindness, and yes, for the prosperity that we as Americans often take for granted.

There are many reasons for practicing gratitude. It puts us in a better mood and keeps us healthier. Psychologists Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami found that people who write a few sentences each week on what they are grateful for are happier, exercised more, and have fewer trips to the doctor. Physically, gratitude has been shown to strengthen our immune system and to decrease stress hormones, blood pressure and heart rate. Gratitude also positively impacts sleep quality, reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and increasing the length of time people stay asleep.

According to the Law of Attraction, the more we focus on all of the good things in our lives, and on our good fortune, the more we draw that energy to us. In the Gratitude Diaries, journalist Janice Kaplan spent a year practicing daily gratitude. By the end of the year, her relationship to her husband was better, and she was happier and more satisfied with her life.

Instead of making a new year’s resolution this year, make this Thanksgiving the beginning of a year-long practice in finding ways to be grateful by keeping a gratitude journal, saying thank you more often, and appreciating all the goodness life holds.


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