Thursday, June 28, 2007


By Oprah Winfrey

I live in the space of thankfulness - and I have been rewarded a million times over for it. I started out giving thanks for small things, and the more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased.

That's because what you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.

"Say thank you!" Those words from my friend and mentor Maya Angelou turned my life around. One day about ten years ago, I was sitting in my bathroom with the door closed and the toilet lid down, booing and ahooing on the phone so uncontrollably that I was incoherent.

"Stop it! Stop it right now and say thank you!" Maya chided. "But - you don't understand," I sobbed.

To this day, I can't remember what it was that had me so far gone, which only proves the point Maya was trying to make. "I do understand," she told me. "I want to hear you say it now. Out loud.

'Thank you.'" Tentatively, I repeated it:

"Thank you - but what am I saying thank you for?"

"You're saying thank you," Maya said, "because your faith is so strong that you don't doubt that whatever the problem, you'll get through it. You're saying thank you because you know that even in the eye of the storm, God has put a rainbow in the clouds.

"You're saying thank you because you know there's no problem created that can compare to the Creator of all things. Say thank you!"

So I did - and still do. Only now I do it every day. I kept a gratitude journal, as Sarah Ban Breathnach suggests in Simple Abundance, listing at least five things that I'm grateful for.

My list includes small pleasures:
the feel of Kentucky bluegrass under my feet (like damp silk); a walk in the woods with all nine of my dogs and my cocker spaniel Sophie trying to keep up; cooking fried green tomatoes with Stedman and eating them while they're hot; reading a good book and knowing another awaits.

My thank-you list also includes things too important to take for granted: an "okay" mammogram, friends who love me, 15 years at the same job (and loving it more than the first day I started), a chance to share my vision for a better life, staying centered, having financial security.

I won't kid you, having money for all the things I want is a blessing. But as I look back over my journals, which I've kept since I was 15 years old, 99 per cent of what brought me real joy had nothing to do with money; it had a lot to do with food, however.

It's not easy being grateful all the time. But it's when you feel least thankful that you are most in need of what gratitude can give you: PERSPECTIVE.

Just knowing you have that daily list to complete allows you to look at your day differently, with an awareness of every sweet gesture and kind thought passed your way. When you learn to say thank you, see the world anew. And as Meister Eckhart so eloquently stated: "If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is 'Thank you God', that would suffice."

Many thanks to Cathy Babao of
for sharing this with me.

* * *

So what are you most grateful for at this very moment?

For me, I am most grateful for my cameras and laptop because they are the tools I use to share my world with everyone.

I am also most grateful to all my blogosphere friends and readers, because they give me the reason to go out there and explore my beloved City of Manila.

Thank you!


posted by Señor Enrique at 12:35 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am grateful that I have a family and a home. I am grateful for what I am as a person. I am grateful everytime when, in my own little way, I am able to make others happy.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It turns a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, creates a vision for tomorrow.” - Melody Beattie

June 28, 2007 1:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maraming dapat ipagpasalamat, sa akin siguro ang katotohanang nabubuhay pa rin ako ay dapat kong ipagpasalamat.

June 28, 2007 5:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm always grateful to have my parents and siblings; also a place I can call a home.

The love that I shared with them and was and still given is indescribable. Everything is amazing. Also, with the power and love of God, I'm grateful that everything is going on smoothly in my life as I learn new things everyday.


June 28, 2007 10:22 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

White calla lilies and roses!

The white lilies are also blooming in my yard and I have to find out why the roses that I replanted show no signs of regeneration.

And we are 7,000 miles apart.

Now, how grand is that?

June 29, 2007 12:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm thankful 4 having a family, khit na may mga bagay na hindi masyadong the end of the day sila pa rin ang mag-mamahal at maasahan mo..;)nga pla ganda ng flowers... and can i post and visit your site more often...if you dont mind..heheh...tnx

June 29, 2007 1:03 AM  

Blogger sheilamarie said...

lovely picture, eric!

i'm thankful for everything i have and the person i am right now. i am grateful for friends and family. very general no? LOL! but really, i am thankful for life and everything in it =)

June 29, 2007 2:15 AM  

Blogger cacofonix said...

beeb lurkin' your blog for sometime now sr. enrique, you're such a talented photographer...I hope someday, God willing, I'll be able to indulge in a similar hobby if destiny brings me back home for good. anyway, this is such a lovely piece; similar to what m. eckhart stated, there's this guy who recently asked God how he could show Him his love - God simply told him, "be thankful, that is enough." Mababaw lang ang kaligayahan ni Lord...:).

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Every morning, soon as I wake up, I thank the Lord for His love, grace, mercy and faithfulness - to me, my family and mankind...:). Ultimately, I am thankful for His great sacrifice on the cross in order to redeem man from their sins and to bring them back to Him...

June 29, 2007 2:53 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

I'm grateful for my health, my kids and family, things that I can still do and enjoy, for everyone who spread kindness around.

Thank you also for a healthy full set of hair on my head. Thank you for my fruit trees. Thank you for the smart person who cross pollinated the breed that resulted in the "BC bud". Most of all, I'm grateful for still experiencing an erection compared to when I was 25 years old!:-)(My partner says TY to that too!)

June 29, 2007 3:41 AM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

i'm thankful for family, having a home, food, friends, music, being able to travel, dance and everything else. =)

June 29, 2007 5:18 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite appreciative that I'm still here and have seen my two kids graduated from college. Both drained our savings but it was worthwhile.
Am always appreciative and credit myself to have quit smoking and drinking at an early age.
I live with the knowledge that "what you are is God's gift to and what you make of yourself is your gift to God." Just being a good, decent person is my only gift to him. Cheers and goodhealth.

June 29, 2007 7:02 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

At this moment, I am thankful that my son Reggie graduated from high school, with at least an award that we didn't expect. And that although money is tight, we were still able to celebrate it with a small feast with family and friends.

I love this post, Eric, as well as that photo of the flowers. :)

June 29, 2007 12:49 PM  

Blogger TOW Blog said...

how wonderful that the best things in life are not things!!


June 30, 2007 12:40 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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