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It's Really Not Overrated 
By Rev. Lei Lanni Burt 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we are reminded once again about the importance of gratitude.  There is so much written  about the practice of gratitude.  In fact if you "google" gratitude you will find a Wikipedia entry,a definition on Merriam-Webster Online, and articles from Greater Good, Spirituality & Practice, Psychology Today, Zen Habits, and on the website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints - just to name a few.

Although the conversations about gratitude may seem commonplace, the spiritual practice of gratitude is powerful and transforms the most ordinary of circumstances into a reminder of the extraordinary.  As Psychology Today says, "Gratitude is what gets poured into the glass to make it half full.  Studies show that gratitude not only can be deliberately cultivated but can increase levels of well-being and happiness among those who do cultivate it.  In addition, grateful thinking - and especially expression of it to others - is associated with increased levels of energy, optimism, and empathy."

When we stop long enough to admire and express gratitude for a beautiful sunset - doesn't it suddenly seem more magnificent than before?  When I feel gratitude for a loving relationship with another - I feel the love between us more than I remember the times when we weren't so loving.   And in times of great sadness, my gratitude lifts my energy higher even if it's only just a little.

Gratitude is an acknowledgement of the activity of Spirit in our lives and in the circumstances we face.  Expressing gratitude as a spiritual practice lifts me and the world!  As Meister Eckhart said,
"If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough."

With Love & Gratitude
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