An Attitude of Gratitude

DenaNovember 23, 2011 | Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to practice the attitude of gratitude, but it is not the only time. I encourage you to use Thanksgiving as a starting point. Allow it to be the spark that lights the attitude of gratitude within you—today & every day.

This thought occurred to me recently: Happiness comes when you stop wanting what you don’t have and you start appreciating what you’ve got. The problem with this thought, however, is that most people do not understand what it really means. Sometimes we equate acceptance and gratitude with failure. The line of thinking behind this is: I can not just accept what I have and be grateful for it, because that means that I resign myself to what is, rather than striving for something better. I want more, more, more… Bigger, better, stronger… etc.

But the truth is, that gratitude and acceptance are not the same as failure and resignation. In fact, these things are absolutely different. Gratitude and acceptance simply mean that, right now, you are going to accept and be grateful for your current life circumstances until you are ready to move onto the next set.

Notice what I am saying there. When you are grateful, you are living in the present moment. You appreciate what you have. All the while, you are still acknowledging that this is your present set of circumstances and that you are always moving toward your next set which may be (bigger, faster, stronger, or whatever have you).

We so often tend to pair acceptance with resignation and defeat; but that is wrong. Acceptance is wisdom and strength. Gratitude is accepting the present moment and knowing that the present moment is temporary. It is a circumstance that will, like all circumstances, eventually pass into another.

In order to live happiness, we must stop stop struggling and stop resisting the present moment. In order to truly live happiness, we must accept what we have, right now, and be deeply grateful for our many blessings.

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” ―Eckhart Tolle

Byron Katie once said that to believe that you need what you don’t have is a definition of insanity. This is true. If you truly believe that you need something that you do not have right now, then you are believing a lie. If you are breathing right now, then you actually have everything that you need. There may, in fact, be things that you want; but it is very important to recognize the major difference between your needs and your wants.

Many times we find ourselves confusing these very different concepts. “I need to eat lunch right now or I am going to starve.” “I need to take a vacation or I am going to lose my mind.” “I need to purchase those new shoes or I am not going to be happy.” And so on…

Today, I want to challenge you to start re-framing these types of thoughts.

  • Instead of saying: I need to eat lunch right now.
    Say: I am so grateful that I am blessed to sit down to a meal every day when there are so many in this world who are not so lucky.
  • Instead of saying: I need to take a vacation or I am going to lose my mind.
    Say: I am incredibly grateful that I have a job that provides my income and a home to provide me shelter when there are so many in this world who are not so lucky.
  • Instead of saying: I need to purchase those shoes.
    Say: I am deeply grateful that I have two feet and two legs that carry me where I want to go when there are so many in this world who are not so lucky.

I promise that if you start to practice this habit of re-framing your thoughts—if you begin to truly practice an attitude of gratitude—your entire life is going to transform. When we change the way we look at things, like magic, the things we look at change.

I am wishing you and yours the happiest of Happy Thanksgivings! May your day be full of love & light. May the attitude of gratitude light your path always. I am so grateful for you!


Comments (9)


    November 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Daily gratitude staves off depression also.  When Im well aware of all my blessings, I feel like I dont have the right to feel down.  Also, The Universe wont give you more good things if you arent grateful for the good things you already have.  Just like you wouldnt give someone another gift if they didnt appreciate the last one you gave them.

    1. Dena Botbyl

      November 23, 2011 at 12:28 pm

      Absolutely, I’ve found that there is no better cure for my sadness than to stop & count my blessings.  As for your theory about the Universe, I like it.  I like it a lot!

    2. Anonymous

      November 23, 2011 at 7:52 pm

      I find it helps, when you feel like you don’t have the ‘right’ to feel down to be grateful that you have this frame of reference to help you really appreciate when things are good. It’s an old pagan thing about how for us to understand and appreciate light we must also experience darkness.

      Don’t know about you but otherwise I sometimes catch myself beating myself up even more for not being grateful enough. Silly cycle that’s really no fun at all.

  • James Moffitt

    November 24, 2011 at 9:19 am

    I love the title to this blog post. We should always have an attitude of gratitude.  It is ok to stop and be thankful for everything, both big and small. I am thankful that I am alive this morning and am able to read this blog post.  I am thankful for you, my cyberfriends, whom I can share life with online.  I hope everyone has a blessed and safe Thanksgiving.  Hug a family member and friend today and share your love with them.  

    1. Dena Botbyl

      November 24, 2011 at 9:43 am

       Thank you, James!  I love you!  <3

  • Andra Watkins

    November 24, 2011 at 9:21 am

    An exquisite reminder of the importance of focus. Happy Thanksgiving, Dear. xoxo

    1. Dena Botbyl

      November 24, 2011 at 9:42 am

      Thank you, love!  Happiest of Happy Days to you & MTM.  <3

  • Olivia Groche

    November 24, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving Dena! Thank you for this post, it’s an amazing reminder to truly appreciate and enjoy what we have 🙂

  • Kristinkielar

    November 27, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I love this post & I love you. I can’t wait to see you. **Pumping myself up already**

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