I am relatively new on my gratefulness journey. I am making a commitment to engage daily and pass gratitude on to others.
Regardless of my place in this journey, I can relate to and empathize with others on their own journey. Because I can empathize, I can be gentler in my interactions, showing patience, acceptance, and validation of their experience.
I can express gratitude for nearly everything. If I am honest, there is very little in my life that is more than minor inconvenience. I can be mindful of both expressing and taking time to really sit with the gratitude. Peace, I feel, will then be more clear within and surrounding me, and I can express this to and encourage this in those around me. I hope to teach my children these practices as they grow, so it is a cornerstone of their lives.
I can release old stories of myself in which I judged myself as bad, weak, shameful, etc. They have restricted my present and distorted by view of myself and my life. I can remember that these experiences cannot “unhappen,” but they can be permitted to exist in the past without allowing them power in the present.
If I have to pick something specific, it’s the smell right after it rains on a warm day in early summer. It smells a bit like asphalt, and a little like earthworms, and is very clearly linked to my childhood summers. It reminds me of running barefoot around my neighborhood, playing with friends, walking to the pool, and fishing all in one scent. In my mind’s eye it is late afternoon, no parents around, with a happily screaming group of kids, and I’m not quite 7 years old.
When I use the word intention, I find that my view of myself softens. Guilt lessens, self-criticism is soothed, and a sense of peace increases. With intention, I’m also able to extend positivity to myself and others, and gentleness is felt.
My personal life is greatly enriched by kindness and decency. If I take time to notice it in action around me, I can observe my internal change in satisfaction and “lightness.” Be it a smile, a door being held, or my children who spontaneously “do” for me, a pleasant “surprise” always feels good. I would love to get to a place where I notice it so often, that it no longer feels like a “surprise,” but a constant that I show and am shown by others...
My personal life is greatly enriched by kindness and decency. If I take time to notice it in action around me, I can observe my internal change in satisfaction and “lightness.” Be it a smile, a door being held, or my children who spontaneously “do” for me, a pleasant “surprise” always feels good. I would love to get to a place where I notice it so often, that it no longer feels like a “surprise,” but a constant that I show and am shown by others. It helps us feel connected to other humans if even for a moment, and supported even in an inconspicuous way.
I’m grateful for my dog, Ginger, who has only been in my life for about a year. She truly shows what unconditional love looks like. She has brought joy, laughter, and even frustration into our home, but I can no longer imagine life without her.
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