I’ve always been grateful.

Or at least I thought I was grateful.

It was a passive gratitude—grateful for what I thought was good in my life and accepting the rest as “meant to be.”

In her research, Brené Brown (author of  The Gift of Imperfection) discovered that people who describe themselves as joyful actually practiced gratitude!

Instead of being grateful for what they already had in their lives, joyful people were grateful first!

In the words of BrotherDavid Steindl-Rast, “It is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.”

Since I was on my own pursuit of happiness, I decided to stop being grateful and to begin a gratitude practice. It really makes a difference!

What does a gratitude practice look like? It’s simple, really.

• Actively look for reasons to be grateful about everything.

• Instead of simply saying “I’m thankful for…,” add “because…” and finish the sentence.

• Perform at least one random act of kindness every day.

I can honestly say that my life, now that I make a daily effort to live in active gratitude, is a joyful life.

I intentionally look for all of the good that surrounds me—even in the hard stuff—and I seize opportunities to experience this miracle that we call life.

It’s amazing how deeply joyful I feel—and everyday I receive even more to be grateful for.

One of the things I feel especially grateful for in this very moment is YOU! Thank you for being a part of my life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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