It's the time of year when gratitude is all over everyone’s bucket list. How many of your emails have been taken over with reminders to be grateful for all we have? Many companies are even employing our “gracious” holiday spirit to try to bank extra revenue during this shopping-heavy time of year.

Well, I thought I would take a look at this time of year a little differently than most. While our friends, family, and surroundings can be full of holiday cheer, I want to address those of you who are dealing with everyday problems and perhaps don’t want to buy into the ‘let’s be happy and thankful!’ thing.

And that’s totally okay… but you know something else? It is totally time to buy into the let’s be happy thing for ourselves. Not only is it the time to give to others, but it’s really the season to give to YOU. You are number one on your shopping list, after all. When we take the time to make sure we are well taken care of, that’s when we can give the most.

It isn’t uncommon for this time of year to bring up many levels of sadness for some of us. It is a reflective time when we are almost forced to evaluate who is in our life and what meaning they have to us. It can be easy to go down memory lane and remember all that we have lost or to dwell on negative experiences of holiday pasts.

But the beautiful thing about this year is that it’s a new year. It’s an opportunity to make a fresh start and wipe the slate clean. It’s time to make your own holiday traditions - ones that revolve around your own values.

When we are able to spend time on our-self, that is when we become truly grateful. When we give ourselves the opportunity to look back, only to make peace with the past, we realize how fortunate we are right here, right now. We begin to see the little blessings in every day, and that is life changing. When we can learn from our experiences, we invite the energy of thanks within.

This internal work allows us to view life as it is – a continuous journey of learned lessons that we are grateful for because they have gotten us to where we are. And when we accept all that we’ve experienced as a learned lesson, that is when true gratitude for life shows up. And when this gratitude comes knocking, we are then able to share it.

So let’s allow this time of year to remind us of all that we have endured to get to where we are right now Be thankful for the ups - and the downs. When we are able to view every person and every experience as an opportunity to appreciate our life with greater intensity, we really begin to give thanks for each- and every- moment.

I am grateful for you reading this and where ever you may find yourself... enjoy it. This time of year is made for you. It's time to give yourself the gift of self-love.


Garrett Paknis

Copyright © 2014 Just Enlightenment by Garrett Paknis

Author's Bio: 

Creator and writer of, Garrett Paknis is an artist and spiritualist living in downtown Manhattan, NYC with a mission to inspire YOU to live from the deepest part of yourself.