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Monday, March 7, 2016

PJSC 124 podcast- Gratitude!

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. Marcus Tullius Cicero

This may seem a somewhat strange subject to bring up here on PaleoJay’s Smoothie Cafe, but it really is not.  Gratitude is indeed, as Cicero stated, the parent of all other virtues!
We are by nature avaricious; we want this, we want that, endlessly.  Especially in the modern era, it seems our material wants are insatiable; our real needs have been met in the modern westernized world for so long that we have trouble even distinguishing “needs” from “wants”.
I just got back from a long weekend at my parent’s house in suburban Chicago, and if ever someone had reason to express gratitude it is me- both of my parents are alive and well, living together in their house of 65 years together!  I realize this is a remarkable situation, since we all gathered, all 8 of their children (of which I am the eldest) at their house, to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday!  My father is 95…
Their health is excellent, and they both go upstairs to their bedroom each night because, as my dad says, “Stairs are healthy!”  I believe he has proved his point over the years.  I am so grateful for my parents’ continued good health, and that very state of mind, that of being grateful, increases my own sense of well being, and that of others as well when I express my gratitude.
If you express your gratitude on a daily basis, you will greatly increase your own sense of well-being and happiness.  It is impossible to sincerely express gratitude and feel angry and sad at the same time- the state of being grateful makes it impossible to also hang on to negative emotions and energy.
Even the ancients, like Cicero quoted before, had this figured out- although he undoubtedly expressed his gratitude “to the gods” of his day, the benefits of his expressing this gratitude were just as real as if these gods had existed.  It is the feeling and expressing of gratitude that is important, not so much as to just who you are expressing it to.  If you express and feel gratitude only to yourself for what you have, you will benefit just as much.
So, be like me and Cicero- express your gratitude daily.  Out loud, to yourself, to your cat- it doesn’t really matter (although if you are thankful for a certain person or for what they have done for you it is wonderful to tell them that).  Just be thankful that you have nutritious food, a healthy body and mind, wonderful weather and friends, and the opportunity to get good sleep and exercise.  Each day we have a new blank slate upon which we can start our healthy life journal anew- this alone is a wonderful gift for which we should be grateful.
I went out earlier today, and it is almost 60 degrees here, sunny and gorgeous out!  I plan to exercise with my heavy hand dumbbells as I walk through the woods later, and plan to grill out barbecued baby back ribs today as well.  I’ll do my podcast for you after that, and then plan to write a little in my latest novel.  I have a book I’m reading for after that, and lots of new pictures to look at of my little 6 month old grandson-  I am so grateful for all that I have!  I’m sure you have just as much to be grateful for if you just think about it.  So do it- think about all that you have to be grateful for!
Then, thank the gods!