A Grateful World Is a Happy World

David Steindl-Rast It is not happiness that makes us grateful, it is gratefulness that makes us happyCreative Commons License BK via Compfight

As Thanksgiving approaches, I have to admit I’m struggling with gratitude. My emotions are mixed and my heart is conflicted with unrest from the recent Paris and Mali shootings and the rants of hate.

It’s hard to put everything into perspective and settle down to celebrate with a quiet dinner and give thanks with so much going on in the world. I will, not because of tradition, but because it’s what is so desperately needed and there is so much for which I’ve been blessed.

It’s not difficult to look around and feel love for my family, our home, my life. I give thanks for all of these things and more every day. But, I also feel something else . . . unsettledness, despair. It’s the energies circling the globe screaming for my attention, unlike the subtle, noninterference energies of peace, love and gratitude. I feel like it’s out of control and there’s very little I can do.

It pulls me off what’s happening in my world and distracts me from the delicate nuances of life right under my nose. It’s so automatic to be pulled that I don’t even realize it. When I do, I have to refocus on who I am and what’s going on in the moment that brings me ‘back to earth’.

It’s what I can do and I’m reminded of the powers of the human spirit, as demonstrated by those in the videos below. When we focus on love and the good around us and put that energy out in the world, the rants seem to dissolve and be replaced by happiness and opportunity.

A Grateful World is a Happy World

It’s hard not to listen to the raging cries of the earth. But, if that’s all I do, I feed it. I want to have compassion and help. I can, this Thanksgiving, by putting out energies of gratitude and compassion and feed them by choosing to notice all of life, no matter what form, as it unfolds around me.

Collectively, if we consciously focus, with intention, on being thankful for the gift of life that surrounds us, it will matter. How can you not after viewing this video.

­­Two lights left us this year on August 30th. One was Dr. Wayne Dyer, the “Father of Motivation”,

and the other was Dr. Oliver Sacks, a British neurologist, naturalist also known as the author of and popular film, “Awakenings”.

Maria Popova at “Brain Pickings” talks about the life of Oliver Sacks and his views on gratitude at the end of his life.

“I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” ~ Oliver Sacks

Yes, indeed, there is great turmoil in the world today but let us not forget ­the incredible power of the human spirit and what it can do. It’s within all of us.

God bless you and Happy Thanksgiving everyone. May you feel all the love and blessings freely given every moment just by noticing.

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table

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11th Month – 11th Day – 11th Hour: Lest We Forget!


Greenlight A Vet shines a light on the impact transitioning veterans make in and out of uniform in communities across the country. (Photo: Photo courtesy of Walmart Corp.)

It’s the time to pause, pay tribute and remember those who have fought for our freedom today on Veteran’s Day. It falls on the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month of every year and many are still giving the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe.

It’s not just this day but every day we’re reminded of the dangers and horrors of war. Many of our families have an empty chair at the dinner table. Some of us will fly flags, mount poppies, put flowers on graves, tie a yellow ribbon around a tree or (new this year), shine a greenlight for a vet to acknowledge their sacrifice and say a heartfelt thank-you.

Today’s veterans volunteer their service. It’s not mandatory like it was back in the day when my husband served during Vietnam or my dad in World War II and Korea. They were proud to serve, though it was hard to be enlisted right out of high school when you knew very little about yourself or the world.

God bless those who choose to fight for the freedom to make this a better world. My prayers and gratitude go out to all our veterans for putting their lives on the line to keep us safe. May we someday put down our arms and live in peace.

I will shine my green light in your honor.

Paying Tribute to our Veterans on Veteran’s Day!



Happy Veteran’s Day!

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table

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