PRACTICAL EXERCISES IN THANKS GIVING
FOR EVERY DAY OF THE MONTH
1. Who are the people to whom you owe an infinite debt of gratitude?
Our parents gave us the gift of this human birth. They took care of us when we were utterly helpless. They stood by us when we needed them. Let us bow down to them with deep reverence of the heart and in some form of the other express our gratitude.
2. Several failures and disappointments have helped us to shape our life.
Think of any five of them and express gratitude to God!
3. All around you are the beauties of nature.
Today, let us thank each and every aspect of Nature. In silence, offer your thanks to each and every little thing that makes this earth the beautiful plant that it is, for us to enjoy! Think of the green grass, the trees, the birds in the sky, the clouds, the stars and the moon, the breeze, the rain... Imagine what life on earth would be like without them! Give gratitude to God for having given you the gift of sight and pray for atleast one blind man who is denied this great privilege.
4. Today we shall make an earnest effort to appreciate those that do not understand us and criticise us at every step, in every round of life. We shall count our blessings and feel grateful for everyone of them! Where would we be without them?
5. Take time to live - because life has so much to give! Today, take time to appreciate all the things and people who make your life worth living.
6. Today, let us give gratitude to those whom the world regards as fellow shevaks - but without whose help and active service the world would not be a clean place to live in - for example domestic servants, the laundryman and the street sweepers. Let us thank them and offer them some little token of our appreciation.
7. Today, let us express our gratitude to those whom we take for granted but without whom life would become an unbearable burden - for example family members and friends.
8. Today, let us give gratitude to God, who has provided us with the five senses - sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing without which we would be no better than stones.
9. Today, let us give gratitude to God for the gift of a healthy body without which life would become an unbearable burden for ourselves and others around us.
10. Today, let us offer our gratitude for all those people who are always negative in their attitude and outlook. Thank you God for having given us the wisdom and the strength to respond in a positive way to everything that happened to us.
11. Today, let us begin the day by offering the simple prayer, "Thank you god for everything". Let this prayer be on our lips throughout the day. If we get a free minute let us utilise it in repeating this prayer, "Thank you God for everything".
12. Begin the day by sitting in a silent corner and take in deep breaths. With every incoming breath, breathe out an aspiration: I feel grateful for the many blessings that I have received.
With every outgoing breath say: these blessings are not for me alone. I must share them with those in need.
13. Think of all the great ones who have influenced your life one way or the other. Feel grateful that such great ones always keep on coming to the earth plane for our sake.
14. Today make a list of emotional strengths you have that help you cope with the challenges of life: Are you reliable? Are you trustworthy? Are you punctual? Are you friendly? Are you responsible? Are you understanding? Thank God for these positive traits. Appreciate yourself as a person with these beautiful virtues.
15. Today dedicate your gratitude to the teachers who have helped to mould you, make you, shape you and bring out your special strengths. If you can, get in touch with atleast one of them and express your love and respect to him/her.
16. Thank you God for forgiving all my faults and failings and giving me a chance to live the new life - a life of simplicity and service, of purity and prayer.
17. What would life be without comforts?
Make a list of all the comforts that you enjoy. From a cozy home, music, a vehicle, our gadgets, even a clean toilet at the work place. Count these blessings one by one and send out your gratitude to God for them.
18. Each one of us is blessed with talents. Make a list of the talents you possess and feel grateful for them. You may be a good singer, a painter, a dancer, or just a good conversationalist. Feel blessed and thank God for these talents.
19. What would life be like without friends with whom we can share our joys and sorrows? Without being judgemental, love them and thank them for their friendship and support.
Make a list today of the great friends who have made your life a happy journey! Call up at least one of them to express your appreciation and to tell them what a difference they have made to your life.
20. Think of all the different types of foods (vegetarian) that have been provided on earth for man to eat and give thanks especially for those types which you like the most.
21. Do music and songs make you forget your worries and woes? Give thanks to the masters of music without whom our life would be dry as the desert sands.
22. Every person has some faults and failings, weaknesses and imperfections.
Prepare a list of your faults and surrender it to the Lord with a prayer: "I can't do it Lord. But, You in Your mercy can free me from these faults. Thank You god! thank You God!"
23. Think of problems as steps of the ladder that lead to the Highest and pray, "In Thy mercy Thou hast sent me these problems. Grant me the wisdom and the strength to solve them and draw nearer and ever more near to Thee!"
24. Thank God for laughter and smiles, good humour and merriment! Laugh out loud as often as you can today. Share a joke or two with your colleagues. Spread the sunshine of laughter around you.
25. Make today a no-cribbing day. Just for today, give-up criticising, complaining and finding fault with others. Take life as it comes; take people as they are' do not sit in judgement upon anything or anyone, just for today.
26. Make today a gratitude-to-God day. Thank God for every incident - good or bad that happens to you today.
27. Make today an Appreciation Day. Appreciate every person you meet and try to express that appreciation in words. This includes your near and dear ones - your spouse and siblings - your children and friends, your fellow colleagues and your servants.
28. Today you must make every person, who meets you, feel that he is very important person.
29. Today let the words, 'May I help you" be on your lips all the time.
30. Today let me visit a sick friend or carry fruits and distribute them to the poor patients in the government hospital.
31. Are you one of those blessed souls fortunate enough to have the grace of Guru's presence in your life? Today, thank your Guru profoundly and with all humility, for making a difference in your life. Offer a little act of loving kindness as an act of thanks giving to your Guru.
Source: Excerpts from the Book "Stop Complaining: Start thanking! by Dada D.P. Vaswani.