Last week I really began to notice just how quickly Thanksgiving was approaching, and I found myself incredibly flustered. My to-do list became increasingly longer as I jotted down things I wasn’t even sure I needed to get or needed to do, but simply sounded right. An idea of ‘perfection’ seemed to consume my mind. When an outsider informed me of my apparent ongoing tension, I realized I needed to disconnect to reconnect.
Thanksgiving to me is all about gratitude. Freedom, food, shelter, family, friends, love, and health all immediately come to mind. As the week of the holiday came to be, I did not open my phone to see what I needed to do, but rather I went to a yoga class to give gratitude to my body. Our instructor informed us that the class would be focused on heart-opening poses as a means to connect deeper to that which surrounds us. She then recited a quote from Marianne Williamson, which read: “Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.”
As I made my way into a backbend later in class, I found myself reciting “Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us,” and it brought me back to my intention for the holiday week. As the day unfolded, I found so much gratitude pouring out of me, and it has realigned the way I will see this week. The food I make, the food I will eat, the people I choose to spend my time with, the places I’ll be, will all be a reminder that there is so much love in this world that connects all of us.
So, with that, let these following 20 quotes on gratitude serve as a reminder that this holiday, along with the rest, is not meant to get the best of you but bring out the best of you.
“Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given.”
– Marelisa Fábrega
“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus
“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” – William Faulkner
“Gratitude is the memory of the heart.” – Massieu
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey
“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” – Buddha
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” – A.A. Milne
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” – Maya Angelou
“Gratitude looks to the Past and love to the Present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.” – C.S. Lewis
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward
“An attitude of gratitude brings great things.” – Yogi Bhajan
“It has been said that life has treated me harshly; and sometimes I have complained in my heart because many pleasures of human experience have been withheld from me… if much has been denied me, much, very much, has been given me…” – Helen Keller
“Gratitude and love are always multiplied when you give freely. It is an infinite source of contentment and prosperous energy.” – Jim Fargiano
“Most of us forget to take time for wonder, praise and gratitude until it is almost too late. Gratitude is a many-colored quality, reaching in all directions.” – Faith Baldwin
“When the gratitude of many to one throws away all shame, we behold fame.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
“I made cranberry sauce, and when it was done put it into a dark blue bowl for the beautiful contrast. I was thinking, doing this, about the old ways of gratitude: Indians thanking the deer they’d slain, grace before supper, kneeling before bed. I was thinking that gratitude is too much absent in our lives now, and we need it back, even if it only takes the form of acknowledging the blue of a bowl against the red of cranberries.” – Elizabeth Berg
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