Wednesday, November 25, 2009
By Julia Williams
Thanksgiving is a day when people come together for feasting, fellowship and fun. For many, this day also includes the tradition of giving thanks. Very often, this is done by going around the dinner table before the meal, with each person sharing what they are thankful for. Younger children seem to really love this custom, while most teens and some adults think it’s silly and would just rather eat their turkey.
You may be wondering, what does this have to do with giving thanks for pets? Well, it reminds me of a similar “thanks giving” ritual I practice, and not just on Thanksgiving, but every day. I’d like to share it with you, and will explain how it relates to pets.
I got the idea for my “thanks giving” ritual from Jack Canfield’s Key to Living the Law of Attraction. As you may know, Jack Canfield is the co-creator of the bestselling “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. The basic principle of the Law of Attraction is that “like attracts like.” In this book, Jack explains that “Being truly grateful for what is already present in your life will automatically and effortlessly attract more good into your life.” He says that by making a conscious effort to appreciate and acknowledge all the good things in your life, you attract even more to be thankful for.
Even those who might not believe in the Law of Attraction should be able to see the value in this way of thinking. Having an “attitude of gratitude” just makes you feel better – not only about yourself and your individual situation, but about everything in your world. It’s practically impossible to feel surly or sad when you are in “thanks giving” mode.
I developed my own “thanks giving” ritual that helps me cultivate this attitude of gratitude. Every night when I crawl into bed, no matter how exhausted I may be, I take a few moments to silently think about all that I have to be grateful for. I might give thanks for material things like having a warm home or a comfortable bed, or intangible things like having a peaceful or productive day. It’s not structured, it’s just what comes to mind in the moment– and it’s never the same on any two nights.
But the one thing I always include is a line about my cats. “I give thanks that Mickey, Rocky and Belle are safe, healthy and happy.” That never changes. I want to always remember to feel grateful that I’m able to keep my cherished pets safe, healthy and happy. And when I express that gratitude, albeit silently and only to myself in a dark room, it makes me feel good. It makes me feel blessed to acknowledge that I have good, nutritious food for them, and a warm home for us all to live in.
Every pet deserves a responsible owner who will always do their best to keep them safe, healthy and happy. Sadly, some pets are not as fortunate as mine. I like to include my pets in my “thanks giving” ritual, because I’m so grateful I can give my feline companions a good life. And no matter what else has occurred during my day, I go to sleep every night feeling thankful for their companionship and love.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all. May this holiday find you and your four-legged friends safe, healthy, and happy.
Read more articles by Julia Williams