And we know we need it. There is more and more research on the power of purposefully focusing on our blessings. It shifts our biochemistry, health and emotional well being. We want to operate from this place. It sounds good, so we make it a goal. It feels good, so we periodically practice.
And on days like Thanksgiving, we stay in it. Can you feel this shift in yourself over this holiday? Expansion, energy, joy, patience, balance?
The space for reflection in my own life brought forward an interesting question. Once we’ve landed in gratitude, what’s next?
My immediate answer was, “Action!” I need to share my blessings . . . partially out of desire, part obligation. My husband and I have dug a little deeper into our pockets, responding to the year-end invitations to give. I am volunteering at Macy’s kitten window today with my daughters. I reached out to make sure my circle of family felt my love. It all felt good. Appropriate. Natural.
Yet the question hasn’t gone away. What’s after gratitude?
This morning I woke up with a different answer ~ Peace.
If practicing gratitude is a means, then I believe the endpoint is peace. Peace that comes from lifting up out of our own place of scarcity, comparison, and suffering. Gratitude gives us extra capacity for peace. We are more able to be compassionate, to understand the truth of others, to share ourselves.
I always wished Thanksgiving wasn’t so close to the Christmas holiday season, but now I see the beautiful link and flow. Giving thanks drops us into our own center of peace, preparing us not just to wish for Peace on Earth as we stamp our holiday cards, but also to bring peace to our corner of the Earth, through our energy, actions and our blessings.