Ahimsa Gratitude – ceramic art by Lotus
Happiness is not what makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy. ~Brother David Steindl-Rast
KindSpring’s 21-Day Gratitude Challenge was an awesome opportunity to take a closer look at gratitude practice in both my personal life and the world beyond in November. This was an immersion and gentle steeping in gratitude to bring the practice home deep into moment-to-moment beingness. One beautiful outcome of gratitude practice is that I’ve experienced moments, days and weeks of profound contentment and abiding joy, even in the most challenging of situations. Gratitude brings one to a higher vibrational frequency.
There is so much to be grateful for, and my list is too long to share here. Each day, I give thanks simply to wake up alive in this body temple to enjoy another day on Earth. There also are expressions of gratitude everywhere I look, so I’ve rounded up a few to share with you.
The Gratitude Challenge inspired Nimo Patel and Daniel Nahmod to co-create a beautiful song, “Grateful.” Volunteers from around the world produced this music video to pay tribute to the small and big things to be grateful for. It is a love song to the world and a moving celebration of Spirit.
Brother David Steindl-Rast
Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk and interfaith scholar, presented a wonderful TED talk on Gratitude this year: Want to be Happy? Be Grateful. When faced with a difficult challenge, stop and wait to allow the gift to emerge into consciousness and then move forward. Thus, patience grows alongside gratitude, together with many other qualities.
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. ~Cicero
Guri Mehta wrote a lovely blog post, Reflections from the 21-Day Gratitude Challenge:
Lotus receiving kisses from Alice the Beautiful
Gratitude not only allows us to tune in to all the ways that we are constantly receiving, but it also helps dissolve fear, anger, envy, and arrogance. Just as lighting a single candle chases away the darkness, gratitude and suffering cannot co-exist in our hearts at the same time.
Inter-Being: Container Garden of Winter Crops
Gratefulness calls forth on blessings in our lives, which are nurtured by the understanding that all life is inter-connected. There is an underlying energy that runs through all beings, and in moments of grace we can palpably feel that connection, that oneness. Gratefulness starts to open that door. -Guri Mehta
Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879)
A blogger friend Paxus Star shared knowledge about the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday I wasn’t aware of and feel grateful to know. “Thanksgiving as the holiday we know can be credited to the Christian feminist Sarah Josepha Hale. [She] has largely been vanished by the history books, but was an editor, activist, author, autodidact and lyricist. She helped discover and was an early promoter of several great writers including Oliver Wendall Holmes and Edgar Allen Poe. [Hale] wrote the lyrics to “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” [For 40 years, she edited Godey’s Lady’s Book, the most popular women’s magazine in the country] (an unusual occupation for a woman at that time). She also lobbied five presidents to create Thanksgiving, ultimately succeeding with Lincoln.”
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