What Are You Grateful For? Name One thing

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.”
— Melodie Beattie

Every year at this time, I write a post on gratitude. I could just keep repeating the same post: What are you grateful for — family, friends, work, pets, quality of life, peace of mind? If you look around, there’s probably at least one thing you can be thankful for. And once you name that one thing, another will probably spring to mind, and then another. And pretty soon you’re feeling pretty good.

Today, I’m grateful my mother is a happy, healthy and active 91-year-old. I’m thankful my family and I worked together to support her recent transition to a wonderful supportive living facility in Illinois. I feel healthy, have a roof over my head, am married to a man I love, enjoy my work, and have a mind that can think and write and be present to this ki moment.


Current research tells us the human brain bends toward negativity. Because protecting ourselves has been so important throughout human history, we tend to look first for what might endanger our health and well-being — we see the snake before we see the sunset.

And the science of neuroplasticity is revealing just how “plastic” our brain really is. We’re learning that we can teach ourselves to look for the good, the positive, and the blessings — in people and in our environment. My experience is that it only takes a bit of practice, it’s not that hard, and it leads to a lighter, happier quality of life. With every new thought pattern, we form new pathways in the brain, which as it turns out is plastic and moldable, regardless of age. So, I ask again….

In this month of Thanksgiving, what are you thankful for in your life? Make time each day — not only on Thanksgiving — to cultivate gratitude and let it inform this moment, this day, your life. It is a gift in itself to be grateful.

As my daily reminder, Notes from the Universe, says:

Thoughts become things. Choose the good ones.

A little gift from me to you:

Click to listen to my rendition of “Count Your Blessings” from the movie, “White Christmas.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

Written by

Judy Ringer is the author of Turn Enemies Into Allies: The Art of Peace in the Workplace and Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict.

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