Notwithstanding those outcries for help and hope that are wrung from us in [difficult] times, our first priority for developing a spiritual practice is the cultivation of a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving...Make a ritual of pausing frequently to appreciate and be thankful. Bless the food that nourishes you. Bless whoever loves you in any way. Bless the gifts and talents that call you to create. Bless the colors, one by one -- the primal blue, green, yellow, red, and all pastels and mottled mauves. Bless old friends. Bless little children and ancient parents. Bless...all the unguents of pleasure. Bless, especially Bach and whoever causes your ass and heart to move in rhythm. Bless those books that have blessed you. Bless sleep and waking.
Notice the more you become a connoisseur of gratitude, the less you are the victim of resentment, depression, and despair. Gratitude will act as an elixir that will gradually dissolve the hard shell of your ego -- your need to possess and control -- and transform you into a generous being.
Sam Keen, Hymns to an Unknown God