11/30/2013 04:57 pm ET Updated Jan 30, 2014

An Attitude of Gratitude

Whenever you take a moment to celebrate an activity or a thought such as, "I love this shirt I am wearing," "I love this food I am eating," "I love these people in my life," or "I love this brand new day of possibilities," these sincere reflections of appreciation immediately will bring you into perfect alignment with the Divine Source of your being. When you acknowledge these gifts and exhibit gratitude for other beings, you will begin to change energetically, and it will influence every aspect of your life. By practicing an attitude of gratitude, you begin to have a relationship with the true essence of who you are and everyone who is within your sphere will benefit from your appreciation. The joy of giving is intertwined with the joy of receiving.

By living with an awareness of gratitude, you are open to appreciating the element of love in all things. As it touches every area of your life, it cultivates well-being and happiness, and when focused toward others, it brings about an increased level of peace, optimism and empathy. Gratitude is not only the greatest virtue that exists, but the person who exhibits the most gratitude will benefit the most people involved.

How do you cultivate a sense of appreciativeness every day? Well, it was probably one of the very first lessons your parents taught you when you began to pronounce words. Most of us were taught the words "thank you" as a response to a kindness. Just by saying the words aloud, it demonstrates an acknowledgment to others. I have worked at practicing and remembering to give thanks and gratitude as often as possible and have even crafted it into my daily ritual. Every morning, while waiting for my coffee to brew, I go to the window, gaze out at the morning sky and send out an intentional thought of gratitude. I let the Universe know that I am grateful and appreciative for letting my soul have another opportunity to learn, understand and perhaps influence another being and hopefully change a life for the better.

How can you grow by incorporating gratitude into your daily agenda? First, it enables you to acknowledge the positive aspects of your life, whether it is friends, material goods or even opportunities to view something from a different point of view. It can assist you in putting things in perspective. When you have a negative thought such as "I hate my job," gratitude can spin that thought into "I am happy that I have a job." Whenever you look at life as hard and difficult, instead think of it as exciting and challenging. Start to perceive obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow, and change and improve.

When you take the time to use those two words that your parents taught you, you can change another person's life in ways that you may have never thought possible. Just an acknowledgement might be exactly what that person needs at that moment in order to act in a positive and loving way to others. Your one kindness has a ripple effect. Everyone on this earth loves to be acknowledged for who they are and what they do. So few of us perform this simple deed; but if we only knew the profound affect that it has, we could (and would) be forever transformed.

When you emanate an attitude of gratitude, it is the same vibration as the energy of love. When you practice a mindset of appreciation, you will let go of doubt and fear and live in the presence of everything that feels right and good. The act of giving thanks will make you feel good, and this feeling is your soul's way of letting you know that gratitude is part of your innate make up. As you live with gratitude, your view of the world and yourself will completely change and your circumstances, situations and relationships are forever altered.

When you practice an attitude of gratitude, you see everything in your life as a miracle and you become aware of how many opportunities and possibilities are before you. You look at the things that are rich and positive instead of poor and fearful. It strengthens your body, mind and heart, and you will begin to attract those situations and people into your life that are also positive and soul-enriching.

Look around you today and acknowledge everything for which you are grateful. And give thanks.