Gratitude and Grace

On this Thanksgiving, when we become more introspective and make a list of all of our blessings, I would like to share with you my recent reflection about gratitude.

Being in gratitude is a practice, it is not something you only remember as you wake up or when you are ready to retire for the day. Being in gratitude is a muscle that once flexed, can’t go back to what it was before. Likewise, being in gratitude requires grace because grace is what allows for it to expand. And the opposite is also true, being in gratitude allows for us to experience grace. So, experiencing gratitude by being in grace allows us to feel gratitude more deeply because we are experiencing it with a feeling of deep humility, respect and honor, as these are some of the qualities of grace.

The word gratitude comes from the Latin word gratus, which means thankful or pleasing. The Latin root is also where we get the word grace, which is an unearned gift from God.

“Living in a state of Gratitude is the gateway to Grace”, Arianna Huffington

As I pondered on this idea, I began to practice gratitude in a different way, by reminding myself to acknowledge every small unnoticed moment, and to whisper under my breath a few words of gratitude. Doing this, not only has allowed me to pause and receive the moment as an unearned gift, but it has also helped me remain present. There are countless moments that pass me by, but those that don’t, account for a great part of my joy. And, when they transform into joy, then they become an exercise that I want to repeat.

A vivid example of a daily opportunity to be grateful for the small unnoticed moments, exists in my own home. Every afternoon, around 4pm in the winter months and later in the summer, during what is called the “golden hour”, the light shines through the window of my kitchen. Just above the table is a chandelier and the reflection of the light bouncing from the crystals creates a color spectrum that is reflected on all the walls. The dance that ensues is breathtaking! It is my daily reminder to smile and take in the gift of nature enveloping me, making this my moment of simple gratitude, that I try to practice with grace.

What is one small, unnoticed moment that you can take in with gratitude and grace on this Thanksgiving?