The month of November opens the holiday season with Thanksgiving. Giving thanks and living in a state of gratitude has been a major enhancement in my life. Today, rather than pondering what gifts I may receive, I give thanks for all the gifts which are already present. A magnificent sunrise was a gift this morning. Before the sun was visible, its dawning light colored the cloud formations shades of pink, gold, and orange. I was in full appreciation of those glorious shades that only nature can produce. Those shades increased in intensity, reflecting the light of the sun as it peeked over the horizon. As that mighty, glowing orb came into view, it bathed the trees in a golden glow and enhanced their leaves in autumnal hues of gold, orange, and red. As this sheer beauty entered through my eyes, my heart awakened in overwhelming gratitude. This opened the portal to that space of conscious contact with the God of my understanding. The heart center opened wide in the full spectrum of gratitude. I gave thanks, deep thanks, for this lustrous beginning to the day. The sunlight lifted the darkness of night away and illuminated all on the Earth back to the life of this new day. The frost on the ground transformed into a thick and heavy fog that was rising and stretching and breathing its own life from the heat now radiating from the sun. How much this all resembled recovery. The fog lifting as the brain cleared from abstinence in early recovery. There was definitely a new day dawning as the inner darkness was dissipating. An awakening was occurring. The warmth of others in the program was opening my heart to a dawning of a new way of life. I was beginning to understand the clear directions in the Twelve Steps. Thank you, God, for everything. Thank you for the friend who believed I had worth when I could not. Thank you for the opportunity to experience treatment for the arrestment of alcoholism, which introduced me to a program for living life on life’s terms. Thank you for all of the difficult and frightening experiences, because it was through those that I came to learn to ask for help. And in asking for help, I was able to get through those tough times with the support and encouragement of others and my Higher Power. Today those same fears and difficulties allow me to share from my own experience, strength, and hope to lend support to others when they are confronted by life. And for that, I am truly grateful. The attitude of gratitude can carry one through whatever life brings. Thanksgiving can become a part of each day for all of us. Simply set aside a piece of time each day to sit and quietly reflect and share with our Higher Power all for which we are grateful. This fosters good emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health. Just like prayer and meditation help us improve our conscious contact with God, this simple act and art of acknowledging our gratitude allows us to reflect on our own inner spiritual sunshine. As I was saying, “Thank you, God, for everything.” Teesie Vallero is a renewal specialist at the Dan Anderson Renewal Center and on staff at the Midwest Institute for Forgiveness Training. She has a private practice as a forgiveness coach and is a Reiki master practitioner at the Well Healing Arts Center in Minneapolis. Learn more about recovery retreats at the Dan Anderson Renewal Center.