Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.
Have you ever wondered why so many religious and cultural practices place such importance on expressing gratitude? Or why, even now in contemporary spirituality, practices of keeping a gratitude journal and blessing everything around you are taught as pathways to creating abundance and prosperity?
Even as far back as Ancient Egypt:
“People threw coins, gold, jewelry, and precious gifts into the river, in thanks for the life-giving water and returning benefits derived from the wealth provided by her fertility to the goddess.” 
And in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism:
“Worship with gratitude to God is a common theme in such religions and therefore, the concept of gratitude permeates religious texts, teachings, and traditions. For this reason, it is one of the most common emotions that religions aim to provoke and maintain in followers and is regarded as a universal religious sentiment“ 
And even in America, the non-religious feast day of Thanksgiving, is a tradition adopted from our Native American hosts who kept our early settlers alive during the harsh New England winters.
Gratitude for what we have has permeated every faith, culture, indigenous community and period in history.
Perhaps humanity, throughout the course of history has learned that there is more value in ritualizing gratitude than meets the eye. It is not merely the saying of “Thank you” but perhaps something much more, something which may hold a key to ensuring the survival and prosperity of a culture. To ensure continued blessings, cultures and religions adopted these practices and maintained them.
In more contemporary spirituality, we learn that by expressing gratitude daily we clear the pathway to receive more of what we are grateful for into our lives. We also learn that when we are experiencing even the most difficult of challenges, the way to shift the energy of what we are receiving is to express gratitude for the good we already do have. The reason for this is that we now know that in order to receive or experience what we want in our lives, we must first learn to hold the vibration of it before it will come.
“Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling, emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.” 
And therein lies the key: Your feelings hold and maintain what it is that you are in vibrational alignment with. They represent your magnetic nature—the Feminine within you that receives—and they act to magnetize to you that which they already are.
To get a clearer glimpse of what you are attracting into your future, look into the feelings you hold around a certain situation: Right there you will find your thoughts and beliefs, and from them you will magnetize your experience.
Frustrated about money problems? Those feelings can manifest more money problems in the future, and keep the current situation in place. Have you been taking your partner for granted lately? Your moments of joy together will be rare, and even fewer still will be their gifts coming your way. Try telling them once in a while how much you appreciate a certain characteristic about them, and watch them shine.
When we take the time to express gratitude, we access our own power to transform situations by truly shifting the energy toward a positive outcome. No matter what your circumstances are now, things can change for the better.
Taking a moment to count and re-count all that you do have working in your favor places you in right alignment to receive more. It is very difficult to feel angry about your health when you are counting the blessings of your eyesight, your hearing, your arms, your legs, and everything you do have that is working well for you.
Do you have something to be thankful for in the area of love and relationships?
What about the world of your finances?
Take a moment now to reflect. Consider writing down all the things you are grateful for in you life and reading it religiously. Do this daily or as many times throughout the day as you feel passionate about changing your life.
The key is to arrive at the feeling of gratitude for what you now have, as well as for what will come. However many times it takes for you to get there, remember: All you need is to generate the feeling and maintain it as often as possible before your external experience will change.
Gratitude is your practice.
1. Geraldine Pinch, Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press, 2004, p 186
2. Emmons, Robert A., and Teresa T. Kneezel. “Giving Gratitude: Spiritual and Religious Correlates of Gratitude.” Journal of Psychology and Christianity 24.2 (2005): 140-48. Print.
3. Emmons, R. A., & Crumpler, C. A. (2000). Gratitude as a human strength: Appraising the evidence. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19, 56-69