Sharing Gratitude: Day 18
–21 Days of Gratitude: Awakening the Heart
As we approach the last few days of this gratitude series, I invite you to reflect on this question:
In what ways do you express your gratitude? How do others know that you are grateful?
I am noticing a softness descending over me, like a warm blanket on a cold night, the more I say thank you in my life: to my husband for making dinner; to the children in the library for listening to my directions; to myself for taking myself swimming and caring for my health; to a friend who offers an encouraging word; to my sister for comforting my tears; to God for this “given moment.”
We can show our appreciation and gratefulness to others with the simple words of thank you; or by patiently waiting for someone who is running late; or by being content with our lives; or by looking at the sky with awe.
Perhaps in our quiet moments, in prayer, meditation and journal writing, we are noticing the awakening of a grateful spirit in us, but it is not enough to keep that awareness tucked inside. We must give it fuller expression, and allow the awakening of gratitude in us to be a healing force in the world around us.
We must share gratitude!
Let us continue to notice how we are giving thanks in our day. The more aware we are of this, the more it will grow, and more we stay committed to our gratitude practices, the deeper and richer they will become.
I kept coming back to the “Breath of Thanks,” developed by Fred Lankin, which goes like this:
- Two or three times every day when you are not fully occupied, slow down and bring your attention to your breathing.
- Notice how your breath flows in and out without your having to do anything.
- Continue breathing this way for about three to five slow, deep breaths.
- For each of the next five to eight inhalations, say the words thank you silently to remind yourself of the gift of your breath and how lucky you are to be alive.
—from Angeles Arrien’s, Living in Gratitude, pg. 209.
And I find that keeping my gratitude journal is so simple and so grounding. I really encourage you to try it. Jump in today and do it for a few days.
Gratitude Journal for Day 18:
- Pause. Settle into the moment.
- Open your heart in gratitude.
- List 5 or more moments, experiences, or things you are grateful for today.
- List a blessing in your life.