Does “In All Things Give Thanks” Apply to These Times?

Trail following the Snake River, Wyoming

This was my fifth ever blog post, written in April of this year. For Christmas, I have dusted it off and polished it up for reposting. Have a wonderful holiday.

It’s amazing how drastically things can change in a short period of time. When this year began, we lived a “normal” existence, but, as you know, since the inception of covid, life has been anything but normal. With the many reports we hear of death, disease, job loss, and an expectation of this trajectory to continue, the idea of gratitude might not be hitting a lot of folks’ radar. In the frighteningly grim existence that we now find ourselves, should we be giving thanks, as the Bible verse suggests?

Before the world changed, I went for a hike on a beautiful trail in northern Arizona. The sun was warm, the trees majestic, and the giant boulders seemed contemplative. The longer I hiked, the more profound my thoughts became, until finally, I arrived at a deep sense of gratitude. I found myself expressing love and appreciation for every tree and boulder I touched. This went on for a while until my heart seemed to overflow, and an intense feeling of tenderness engulfed me. Have you ever been overwhelmed with joy by a simple experience?

“. . . One who forgets the language of gratitude can never be on speaking terms with happiness.” ~John Robbins

According to a very long list of studies done on gratitude compiled by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine, the expression of gratitude has many benefits. These studies show that an individual expressing gratitude can benefit from lower blood pressure, better cholesterol levels, feeling more socially connected, experiencing less anger & anxiety, and better sleep. Bonus: some studies show that more gratitude also results in less materialism. Have you experienced benefits from expressing gratitude?

Hiking high in the mountains of northern Arizona

In the documentary What the Bleep Do We Know?, you may recall the water experiments done by Dr. Emoto and his team. Water from a single source was encapsulated in different vessels & “given” messages. The water that received messages of hate & other negativity resulted in crystals that were ugly, but those exposed to messages of love and gratitude were absolutely beautiful. That result causes me to consider how water in our cells must respond to expressions of appreciation from both ourselves and others.

Hike around Park Lake near Helena, Montana

Everything in life is vibration.” ~Albert Einstein

You may have heard the idea that whatever you focus on increases. According to cell biologist Bruce Lipton, PhD, author of Biology of Belief, “Quantum physics acknowledges that the observer is a participant in the creation of (her/his) world.” Worrying or focusing on negativity reduces our personal vibration, which then infuses our creations with low vibes, resulting in unhappiness and unhealthy experiences. Researchers at the HeartMath Institute have proven that the regular practice of expressing sincere gratitude raises our personal vibration. Which then is followed by the desired outcome of higher vibrational creations and experiences.

Northern Colorado trail

Although it can be tough to switch into gratitude mode right now, maybe the verse “In all things give thanks” was given not as a religious edict, but as a practical way to bring light and hope into dark and difficult times. Express gratitude for the personal benefits. For your family. For your community. For the good vibes you can bring into our suffering reality. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

One of many “Urban Trails” in Flagstaff, Arizona

Blessings for Gratitude,

Lisa

56 thoughts on “Does “In All Things Give Thanks” Apply to These Times?

  1. Blessings to you as well, Lisa. One study of survivors of the holocaust dealt in their view of life–seeing the blessings, gratitude for what they had and will have, and humor. It took 8 months for me to find my funny bone again, but my parents taught me well–to be grateful for small things, to care for others, and to see that our grandchildren will inherit the earth as we experienced and knew it. I have hope. Blog posts like yours uplift me.

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  2. I have absolutely been living in a state of gratitude all year! There are definitely times when I get choked up when I see things in nature – grounds me every time. When Sean or I get down on a situation, we immediately go to what we should be grateful for – there is light at the end of the tunnel!! My daily mantra is, “I love our life,I love our family, I love our friends, I love our house”. Then I go to sleep :-). Cheers Lisa!!

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  3. Lisa, I had a couple of experiences very similar to yours. One was when I was around 11 or 12. It was the closest I had ever felt to God/Spirit.

    As for giving thanks in all things, that was my final talk in seminary. It is truly about faith. When you are in the darkness of a challenge, if you can know there is light at the end of that tunnel and give thanks in advance for the good that you trust will emerge from this experience, that is faith. I have also, in retrospect, given thanks for something that was painful at the time. My divorce from my first husband is an example. I was devastated at the time he asked for the divorce but later realized that had he not divorced me, I would not be with the incredible man I am with now.

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    1. So nice to see you here, Carla! Thank you for sharing your experiences. The darkness can certainly drive us toward the light, even when we don’t understand why we are lost in darkness. That has been such a big part of my life’s story. Blessings to you, my beloved friend. 🙏🌞💛

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  4. I am just now catching up on your blog that was released on Christmas Day. After reading it, I am asking myself after reading it was this a coincidence or fate? Ironically, on this very same day, I responded to a Facebook post to my niece who has an addiction problem with the exact same quote you used in your blog from Gandhi, “Be the Change You Want to See in the World”. As soon as I read it, I was somewhat bewildered that we BOTH used the same quote on the same day……..and not just any day, but Christmas Day! I would be interested in your thoughts on this. Coincidence, fate, divine intervention, etc…..

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    1. Hi, Mama Ceil, wow, what a coincidence! I’d say we are not only on the same page, but on the same paragraph! My belief is that when we see things like that, it’s a Universal confirmation that you said, did, or are doing the right thing. Kind of like a thumbs up from the I AM. And since it happened on Christmas Day, it will be something we both talk about to others, therefore spreading the message farther & wider. Remember, our entire life is a prayer to the conscious field in which we all exist. It is always interacting with our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Wishing you ongoing confirmations from the Universe this year, my beloved friend! 🌞

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