Thanksgiving is a great time to get in touch with your “inner ppl”. Practising gratitude will improve your emotional well-being and wellbeing in general, and let you live more creatively, spontaneously and acceptably. Learn to stop waiting for the world to unfold itself in front of you and look for the magic – in yourself and others – that presents itself where it is.
There are three kinds of gratitude you can practise. The first of these involves the noticing of present moments, and the appreciation of the little things that bring them into your life. You may notice, for example, someone has offered to pick you up from a bus stop, your child is making noises when you go to pick him up, or your dog has stopped chewing things up to sleep or play. Staring into the sights of these daily and fleeting moments teaches you to notice the small things that matter most. They are not just details, but your homes, friendships, loved ones, the community and environment in which you live. The most important lesson is that the little things matter, and you shouldn’t take them for granted.
The second kind of gratitude, called reciprocal gratitude, is also about noticing the small things, but this time for the other person. This may take place in the homes of friends and relatives, as is the case this week with this whole of Toronto, or just on the streets and in shops. You can also sense gratitude when a stranger stops you to offer help, or give you a kind smile. They might be helping you carry heavy things or point you towards a library, whether it is in a building on a busy street or a librarians’ corner in a city library. They might even be the grocery checkout lady, the man carrying a shopping basket or the motorist who lets you cut in behind them when you slow down to go five miles an hour.
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Thanksgiving is a great time to get in touch with your ‘inner ppl’. Photograph: Alex Trebek/Getty Images
The final kind of gratitude is based on the concept of “inner status”, sometimes called the “spiritual economy”. It states that we have a certain level of consciousness – beyond the mundane things that rule our lives – and it is beneficial to have this level of consciousness. We can try to keep this level. It is beneficial to be here, to be at peace, to be one with the world, and to be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. You don’t need more special status, or to take special care of the things that are most important in your life. You can reexamine your priorities to find what matters most, and you will also find more peaceful moments in your day. I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to pay it forward and use the gratitude practices that I have offered to you this week.