Got gratitude?

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I love the month of November. First, because there is Thanksgiving and any holiday that includes pie is automatically a winner in my world. Second, because five years ago I adopted my two older cats as a provision in a friend’s will. She passed away on a lovely November day, and I brought her beautiful babies and my new littermates home late that night. While they had known me for many years, they had never seen my house. I will always remember their reaction when they saw the rooms and yard for the first time in the light of day. As I opened each window and door they followed right behind me and clambered up on the sills to see the view of their new world. Listening to their contented purring I realized that cats are my spiritual teachers for they show me the gifts of gratitude and wonder.

Since then I have endeavored to remember that every morning is a new day of creation, a brand new experience, as I open the windows of my perception to let in some fresh air. And every open door is an invitation to a brand new opportunity. If every day is really a gift, full of wonder and possibility, then what else could I be but grateful? We have all heard the spiritual adage of living with an “attitude of gratitude,” and I know that my days flow easier when I am fueled by gratitude. So what would my life look like if I really ‘got gratitude’ and lived the daily practice of thanksgiving? Even more important, would living in continuous gratitude lead to a deeper experience of inner peace?

Johannes A. Gaertner reminds us that, “To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” Not some pie in the sky when I die kind of heaven, but some truth on the ground while I’m still around celebration of existence. To be in a place where I’m learning to trust chaos as essential to creation, where I’m pausing to ponder the paradoxes, and where I’m making peace with the mystery of life sounds heavenly to me.

If living life with and as a grateful heart really is essential to peace, then what keeps so many souls on the outside looking in? Much of our angst, our lack of gratitude, is caused by resistance. Resistance to what is right in front of us. Resistance to what we don’t like. Resistance to our thoughts, our feelings, and our perceptions. Watching the daily news would cause even the calmest individual to dig their heels in and shake their head in disbelief. Resistance is the fog that clouds the lens of our perception so that we are unable to see life’s gifts.

How can we rise above this downward spiral? Surrender. Let go. Surrender isn’t defeat; it’s simply allowing the energy of creation to flow through us unimpeded. If we would only stop, breathe, and listen, we could give that energy a chance to permeate our heart. Instantly we’d be renewed in body, mind, and soul to find a new sense of peace within us and all around us. And like my dear cats, we would truly know that all is well. This Thanksgiving take a precious moment to relax and remember all that you have (and don’t have) and all that you are (and are not) is a great gift bestowed upon you every waking day. And then giving in to the temptation of pie will taste so sweet…

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Through her ministry, “Doorway Into The Infinite,” Rev. Maria holds the vision for the transformation of the consciousness of Planet Earth. She is a spiritual change agent committed to … educating people in the process of healing … empowering the world one creative thought at a time … and experiencing peace in our lifetime. Her articles, essays, and meditations have been published in various magazines. She has self-published numerous books and manuals, and released two recordings of guided meditations. She’s created a variety of classes, workshops, and spiritual performance pieces, where she expresses her profound interest in spirituality and peace. For more information, she can be reached at her website: or at her e-mail: