By Barbara Schwarck, PCC, MPIA

There are certain times of the year when we are caused to consider grace and gratitude: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and so many other religious milestones and holidays. What about today or tomorrow? In the middle of a hot summer day or the cool autumn breeze? What about in the dark of the frozen winter? How does gratitude live for us in the normalcy or breakdown of a day in the life?

I have been asked many times about the purpose of gratitude in our lives when we are travelling across the globe, when we have just missed another flight, when the Board is not yet satisfied with our solution and the constituents aren’t, either. Perhaps in the most unlikely time, is when we can create a space to open ourselves to gratitude.

What is gratitude? The dictionary defines it as thankfulness and appreciation. Well, gratitude goes beyond the feeling of thankfulness. It can be a by-product of seeing life from a higher perspective.

Let’s play the “what if” game for a few minutes. What if everything in your life is perfect and designed for learning, upliftment and growth? I know this may be hard to imagine, but what if a greater spirit has given humans the capacity for gratitude so we can accept even difficult situations and problems, and hence the challenges in our personal and professional lives give us an opportunity to grow?

What if?

What if you can, and are willing, to be grateful for the challenges in your life and learn from them? You may feel more empowered and certain about your direction in life, regardless of your profession.

Gratitude is one of the keys to manifestation. When we are grateful we are sending out a positive message to the universe of fullness rather than lack or discontent. We are saying, “I appreciate what I have and I am open to receive more.”

In times of turmoil and distress, gratitude is a wonderful way of overcoming materialism and attachment. And, it helps you to stay sane. It is said that ‘God will never give you anything you can’t handle’. How you handle it is up to you, but with grace and gratitude, consider you will have a good start.

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