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Natural Awakenings Bucks and Montgomery Counties PA

Gratitude—A Way of Life

Dec 04, 2023 01:42AM ● By Joe Dunne

On this Thanksgiving eve, I’m thinking of the millions of people traveling to celebrate with family, loved ones and friends. We will sit around our tables and profess our gratitude. I have seen this tradition produce surprise and awkward moments, even struggle, just to acknowledge what we are grateful for. It shouldn’t be that hard when you spend time thinking about it. 

There is a saying, “There, but for the grace of God, go I”. Living in gratitude allows me the chance to put things in proper perspective, to not be a victim of circumstance, to accept what is and counterbalance my thinking, to center myself. If one has been blessed with love, life, family and friends, it’s wise to never forget to be grateful. 

No one will take the money, cars, houses or jewels with them. I have never heard a person on their death bed say they wish they had gone to the office more or worked harder. There are people in the world burdened with unbearable conditions and circumstances, and nothing inspires me more, humbles me more, than when I see them turn the lemon into lemonade. They have this unbelievable mindset of gratitude and acceptance, and sometimes—most times—they are smiling. Think on that for a second. 

Gratitude is something I am very passionate about. I have learned that I need a plan and a few action steps to maintain a positive attitude, to see the good and feel grateful for all that I have. My life is my responsibility, and so is the decision to bring in the good stuff. For that to happen, gratitude is key.

When life gets difficult, when stuff happens, when reality is not the way I want it to be, when pain and suffering are unavoidable, gratitude is the mental path I need to be on. It leads me to acceptance. It pushes me forward. Gratitude delivers the mindset needed to breathe, adjust and continue when life gets difficult.  

I maintain that practicing gratitude, not just in the holiday season but every day, cannot hurt. In time, practicing gratitude becomes a habit that slowly moves me in inches to contentment and happiness. Gratitude is a way of life. In my eyes, it’s the better alternative. 

As we move into this holiday season of celebration and see our year of 2024 edging ever closer, I propose a movement of everyday gratitude. It’s a good spiritual present to ourselves.


With much gratitude and love,


Joe & Asta, Publishers