The greatest gift one can give is thanksgiving. In giving gifts, we give what we can spare,
but in giving thanks we give ourselves. ~ Br. David Steindl-Rast
What if you discovered that living with awareness and intention — focusing on what makes you feel most alive — allows you to: live longer; experience joy; inspire others; hold pain and grief with compassion; and deepen love, generosity, and respect for all life?
Throughout this season of Thanksgiving we invite you to explore ways to experience grateful living as a way of life, not simply something we celebrate once a year.
To begin, we encourage you to watch A Grateful Day (the video below) and consider sharing it with others. Then, explore the practices that follow on your own or with family and friends…
Notice all of the factors that go into your travels this week: A working vehicle, the ability to drive, public transportation, infrastructure, gasoline and gas stations, laws and devices that help keep everyone safe. How might you honor these gifts?
Each day, tell someone in your life you appreciate them. You might even try it with someone you’re struggling with interpersonally. How does it feel to verbally express your appreciation for someone? What happens in your body and your heart? How does it impact your relationship with this person?
Take time to wholeheartedly express gratitude for all of the people who serve you in some way. Rather than a quick thank you, explore what it feels like to pause, smile, make eye contact, perhaps even steal a glance at someone’s name tag so that you can include their name when you say “Thank you.” Wish them well and mean it. How does this shift your experience of receiving? How does the practice shift your experience of thanking others?
Try to savor every moment. Focus especially on those moments when completing tasks that may feel mundane or tiresome. Open up and lean into every moment of travel, red lights and all; every task of cleaning, grease-stained and all; every step of cooking, vegetable-peeling and all; every interaction with another person, less-than-easy and all. How might gratefulness change your perspective on experiences that might feel like a “chore”? How can you find joy in every moment, both challenging and pleasurable?
For more ways to cultivate and express gratefulness, please visit our Practice Space to send a Thanksgiving eCard, Light a Candle, and respond to our Daily Question. You might also enjoy our Grateful Conversation Starters — questions that help spark meaningful conversations at holiday gatherings or other occasions throughout the year.
And we would love to hear from you! Please share any ideas you might have to deepen our experience and appreciation this Thanksgiving in the reflection area below…
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A twig of Thanksgiving poetree for All 🙂
Another Thanx/Mourning Day
I am thankful for,
The wonder of our
Morning star’s rise,
And it’s setting
Within our eyes,
On this Beauty Way
We build each day
With great surprise.
Native’s compassion taught
Pilgrims at Plymouth
How to live within, give to,
That providence sowed
Reaped graces’ harvest,
Fruits to this day.
We gave Native America genocide, Earthocide.
Chief Seattle said, “no one can own the land”.
Bowing to Above and Below, for gifts bestowed,
Giving, may we, again, walk that way.
While giving thanx
This full Moon’s day,
There, but for the grace
Of God, Great Spirit, go I.
Copy, share as you will. Thanx for all you do 🙂 reality
Dear reality, that is so beautiful! Thank-you for your sharing!
Peace and blessings to you 🕊 🌻🦋
I do not have any specific ideas to offer. I would just like to say that since I have learned to be grateful, my life has been transformed in a most profound way. I realize everything is a gift, a blessing and only for the highest good. I don’t have words to express the deep love that sometimes wells up in me. I am moved to near tears writing this. Thank-you gratefulness.org! Thank-you God! Peace and love to all.🕊🦋💖
Write an entry in your private gratefulness journal
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We invite you to experience six blessings in this short, meditative video from Brother David: