Last year a tornado ravished through our neighborhood, flipping roofs off houses and uprooting trees within minutes. It felt like a train was driving through the neighborhood causing stuff to fly everywhere. Being uprooting from our home and returning for Thanksgiving I wrote the posts Where Do I Find Calm In the Storm? and A Salty Thanksgiving Back Bend. Last week I noticed twisted metal clanging from a naked tree as I enjoyed an evening walk. I found myself grateful to be strolling through a neighborhood with scars. I quite don't remember how I felt during my walks before the storm, however, I know now I have more gratitude for my home and my neighbors' home post tornado. Hardships will create gratitude, though, you don't have to wait for a storm to realize your life wasn't that bad after all.

Here are 3 simple strategies to create gratitude...everyday!


1. Appreciate the Ordinary--There is so much good in our days and lives. The good is so overabundant it appears ordinary...until the storm comes through. It's amazing what we take for granted. I'm completely guilty of rushing through the after school taxi-mom service and forgetting to notice how awesome each one of my kids are. Yes, it's the ordinary after school chaos of somehow managing 4 children to simultaneously arrive at 3 different places. Yes, they're still awesome and evolving...everyday!


2. Give a Compliment--Yesterday a Senior Lecturer took time to warmly share with me that she has heard some great things about me and the University was fortunate to have me as faculty. This took me by surprise as I said thank you. She of course didn't have to say this, however, I suspect as a teacher of many decades, she is always looking to compliment and empower her students and junior faculty. It feels good to be appreciated. Taking time to compliment...everyday!


3. Fill Your Prayers With Thanks--It's been said that "Thank You" is the best prayer anyone can say. Truth. Of course we all have a need for divine intervention to change a circumstance, however, when we stack the list of needs next to the stack of blessings, we find the lists are more about our attitudes towards life. We had a friend over for dinner recently and as I was sharing a story and trying to describe my elated heart response, he genuinely interjected, "Praise God!". Those were the words I was looking for! So Praise God...everyday!


Yoga and meditation has certainly helped me cultivate the mental organization to cultivate habits of gratitude. I definitely want to grow in gratitude because I know it will continue to multiply the joy and abundance in my life. As you sit down for Thanksgiving Dinner this year, I hope your list of blessings is longer than your list of needs and that you feel joy in gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tara Galles

Tara is the founder of YOGATHEA® inspiring others to "Breathe the Peace Which Transcends All Understanding - Mind + Body + Spirit” through Christian Yoga + Meditation DVDs, CDsInstructor Training Program, and Women's RetreatsTara currently resides in Kokomo, Indiana with her husband and 4 children where she practices Occupational Therapy and has made peace with the snow.