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Finding the positive even in uncertain times
by Agnes Lau

Smiles

Through all the tumultuous events of recent times—September 11th and the subsequent bombing job cuts, recession—we may have forgotten to count our blessings.

As one of the Reiki Principles states, "Just for today I will give thanks for my many blessings." If that seems difficult, we can always start with:

"If you haven't got all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don't have that you don't want." Anonymous

How about being grateful for ready smile of a child or the beautiful butterfly that flew across your path?

Dump Prozac, Get Thankful
A therapist once prescribed the following to clients asking for Prozac for depression: Every morning, ask yourself - "What do I feel grateful for about myself?" Get in touch with your strengths, talents, and resources. At the end of each day, ask yourself - "What did I do today that I feel good about?"

According to Sharon Huffman,
"Feelings of gratitude release positive endorphins throughout the body, creating health." Scientific research now indicates that positive emotions, such as gratitude and love, have beneficial effects on our health by strengthening the immune system through the release of endorphins into the bloodstream. When depressed or stressed, we get tunnel vision, focussing on the problem. Gratitude makes us feel good, giving us 'mental sunshine.' It widens our frame of vision, giving us more options.

"The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be." Shakti Gawain

When you create the 'mental sunshine' of gratitude, you begin to 'glow', and the world around appears brighter. According to M.J. Ryan, gratitude eradicates worry by bringing us into the present moment. It is the antidote to bitterness and resentment, by focussing on the 'half-full' portion of the glass. When we are able to accept our 'imperfect state' and experience abundance, rather than inadequacy or lack - it cures perfectionism!

By the way, give thanks for your body. Photographer Francis Scavullo has a book of beautiful, breathtaking women - not one was satisfied with the way they looked! Why waste energy being dissatisfied with the way you look? Why not appreciate all our body parts - legs we walk with, hands to do things, eyes to see, ears to hear, stomach for digesting, lungs to fill me with air, etc. For the work they do, keeping us alive, we have so much to be grateful for!

"Attitudes of Gratitude" by M.J. Ryan