11/26/2014 12:00 pm ET Updated Jan 26, 2015

It's All About Gratitude


I love this time of year. Not only is Southern California festive and bedecked with Christmas lights, but people just seem to be in a better mood all around. I like to believe that it's because we're all thinking about the coming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, or, if you celebrate Hanukkah, the upcoming Festival of Lights.

No matter what, however, there never seems to be enough time to prepare. That's why I've introduced meditation into my daily routine. I find that it calms me and makes me more focused. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, or involve chanting a mantra, or twisting oneself into weird body positions. After I have my coffee in the morning I make time to sit for a few minutes and clear my mind. If it's a day I'm working out with my trainer, I do that after I meditate.

I've been aiming for twenty minutes a day, but sometimes it's only five or ten. I've also decided not to stress about it if I don't reach my goal of twenty minutes each day. We need to take care of ourselves, and the last thing I want to do is get on my own case about something that's supposed to help me de-stress!

How about the times when I find that I can't turn off my chattering mind which insists on my thoughts interrupting the silence? In that case, I'll make a concerted effort to count my blessings and give thanks. Especially right now as we're all getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday, this seems more than appropriate. There have been many recent studies about how beneficial it is for us to write down a daily gratitude list. It actually has been proven that this invites good things into our lives by changing the vibrations we're sending out into the world!

Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, and being grateful and kind is not something we should restrict to this time of year. It's a gift that keeps on giving all year long -- not just for those we interact with, but for ourselves as well.

Happy and safe holidays!