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Posted By Susan Bernhardt
 
Since 1776, the concept of "the pursuit of happiness" has been 
held sacred in our national consciousness. But how can we get 
happiness and keep it? Unassuming enough questions, yet they have 
given rise to books, articles, spiritual teachings, and this blog.  

A great way to start one's quest, during this month of giving 
thanks, is the miracle of gratitude. I have been truly blessed 
this past year and my latest blessing has been our beautiful 
grandson, Corbin. For years I kept a gratitude journal, writing 
down most nights five things I was grateful for that day. The 
simple act of counting my blessings shifted my perception to such 
an extent that it changed how I saw the world. It heighten my 
sense of well-being. The more I practiced gratitude, the more I 
found I had to be grateful for and the more present I became. 
Wouldn't it be a great idea to think about who you are grateful 
for and then tell them? It's a simple thing to do and this 
expression of gratitude would bless both you and the receiver. 

"Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it." --
Bernard Meltzer. 

There are many Hollywood movies with spirited melodrama about the 
dysfunctional family at Thanksgiving, but relationships, family 
and friends, are the heart of happiness. I have found it's 
important to forgive and forget. And it makes sense that if you 
show love and kindness and happiness to the world, it will flow 
back into your life. Try to shift focus away from yourself and 
care for the needs of those around you.

It's important to be optimistic. My husband keeps me on the 
straight and narrow in regards to this. If I stray no matter how 
slightly, he'll remind me to be positive. (Which can get very 
annoying...lol.)  Research has found that the physical act of 
smiling and laughing released endorphins into the body that 
increased one's sense of well-being. It doesn't do any good to 
dwell on negative things, which if you do, gives those things 
endless power.

Those on a religious and spiritual path are more likely to say 
they are very happy. A strong spiritual faith has helped me to 
connect to what is real, what is now, and what has been given to 
me. Prayer helps me to see the happiness that already exists in my 
center.

Happy Thanksgiving!  

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