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"When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself." - Tecumseh When I began studying Native American culture, spirituality and philosophy as a teenager, I was impressed with the idea of living our gratitude. Not just saying "thanks" before a meal, but living our gratitude for all that we have been given. After embarking on 2 Vision Quests in my young adulthood, and working on an organic farm, I learned that the Earth Mother gives us all we need to live when we live in harmony with her and respect her and all beings. Only when we disturb this balance - the natural harmony in life - do we suffer. As I look around me today, there is a great deal of suffering happening all over the planet - due in part to human's disconnection from the earth and from each other. To anyone who is an empath or clairvoyant, it can be overwhelming at times feeling the suffering of the planet. Gratitude becomes a practice and a therapy. It has been my saving grace. At times, when there is no light in front of you to lessen the darkness, you can search for one in your own heart. Think of something or someone you are grateful for - whether it's something present or past. Even if it is bittersweet - perhaps someone who loved you deeply and is now gone - reflect on the gift of their presence and the time you spent with them. When I am overcome with grief and sorrow, I try to find something in my life for which I can express gratitude. Frequently, it's my childhood. I had a happy childhood with loving parents, caring teachers and access to the basic necessities of life - food, shelter, education, wild open spaces, connection to nature. For these things I am grateful. For these experiences and the wisdom they have given me, I am grateful. For the brief moments of peace in my heart that they bring me now, I am grateful. When you are experiencing grief or suffering of any kind - whether physical, mental/emotional or spiritual suffering, and there is no comfort in sight - look for that glimmer of light in your own heart. Find gratitude for a moment in time, an experience, or a person you have been blessed to know. It can shine a glimmer of light into your heart that provides you with some relief and gives you hope to sustain you in the moment. Om Shanti. Namaste.

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