"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy." Brother David Steindl-Rast

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sharing Gratitudes: A Guest Post by Steve Foran

Today I am grateful for the soothing sound of the fountain on our front patio and for the ability of my ears to hear it.  I am also grateful for Steve Foran, fellow believer in the power of gratitude practice.

Steve Foran was one of the first people I didn't know who commented on my blog. That was pivotal because I had reached beyond family and friends to people in other parts of the world. (I know, Canada isn't that far . . . but it is another country.) The Internet and sharing gratitude had connected us and we continue to grow that connection in this community of grateful beings. Effective kindling.


These were his words on May 14, 2012:

"Keep going and know that your blog is making a difference. 
Every single post counts. Thanks, Steve" 

These are Steve's words, four years later. Thank YOU Steve! Onward!

I started reading Lisa’s blog, Habitual Gratitude, back in 2012 and have read every post since. Lisa and I have not met. We’ve never spoken on the phone. Yet, I feel I know her almost as well as some of my friends.

We share a common interest having been touched by the power of gratitude, which kindled in both of us a need to expand the force of gratitude within the world. I realized very early in reading Lisa’s posts that the gratitudes of other people are critical to my own gratitude practice. In my work with organizations that want positive, engaged, productive people, I teach this as one of the three basic gratitude practices… listening to or reading the gratitudes of others. This practice is extremely powerful but it’s easily discounted and discarded.

As a reader of Habitual Gratitude, I’m sure there are times when you think about deleting the email without reading the post. While I’ve been tempted to delete it without reading (because I’m so busy or whatever), I’ve resisted and I have always read on… often with greater attention and focus to the message. For me, the desire to speed through things or skip over them is a sure sign I need gratitude more than ever.

Each of Lisa’s posts has something to help you with your gratitude practice. You can't be certain what the post will say to you or how it will impact you… it may trigger in you something you’ve taken for granted, it may open your eyes to a perspective that was otherwise invisible, it may tweak a memory that was long forgotten, it may reinforce something you’ve thought, or one of many other possibilities. So make sure you read every one of Lisa’s posts. And read every word in every post. 

I offer this challenge to you… a challenge you can do in appreciation to Lisa for her contribution to the world. Try this with someone in your day… 

Say, "I was reading this morning about a woman who was writing about what she was grateful for (you can add something specific if you want) and it made me think about my own life. I realized how fortunate I am (insert something you are grateful for).” Then pause briefly and ask them “What’s the best part of your day so far?"

Then listen to them and watch them. (NOTE: I ask "what’s the best part of your day" because asking what they are grateful for out-of-the-blue can come across awkward). Engage in the conversation and notice how the simple act of listening to each other’s gratitudes spirals your energy and attitude upward.

I am most grateful to Lisa for Habitual Gratitude and for sharing her blog platform with me. I hope you find lots to be grateful for today… and you share that gratitude with others!

2 comments:

  1. Today as I prepare to ready the library for a floor cleaning, I am grateful to be able to move furniture (at my age). I am also grateful each morning for the lovely day unfolding before me. Yesterday after the school sports' day, we stopped for ice cream. I have lots of gratitude for the ice cream but also for the company of young people as we ate.

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    1. Today I am grateful for the good taste of bratwurst, the view I get of our backyard when I sit at the dining room table, and for the young people I cross paths with in my job. Thanks Lana!

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