Gratitude – The Practice

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Grat.i.tude ( a noun)

  • The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness
  • A feeling of appreciation and thankfulness for blessings or benefits we have received
  • To recognize that the sources of goodness are outside of ourselves.
  • An emotion expressing appreciation for what one has        

Dear Children and Grandchildren,

It is a season of Thanksgiving and I have gratitude on my mind. There are many definitions but manifestation of appreciation and readiness to be thankful do not quite explain my feelings. Angeles Arien comes closer in her book, Living in Gratitude: “the recognition of the unearned increments of value in ones experience”. Or as she quotes the International Encyclopedia of Ethics: “The heart’s internal indicator on which the tally of gifts outweighs exchanges”.

It’s easy to become pedantic in trying to explain a concept that is all feeling and no facts. All internal with no words.

Gratitude for me is the precursor for joy. It is waking in the morning blessed that I am here and able to take a breath. It is walking through my day with a sense of buoyancy because each moment is a gift. It is resting my head on my pillow at night with a sense of ease and sureness in the perfection of that moment.

Gratitude doesn’t give me guarantees. It may not easily dispel my dismay at things I read or experience. It doesn’t deny sorrow or anger or fear – but it is a way back from all of those emotions.

If I could bottle gratitude and hand it to each and every one of you, I would. You could carry it in your heart through each day of your life. More than that, I hope you have found it for yourselves and are able to live within it. Today is a good day for practice.



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