Although we learn about the concept of giving thanks for our food, writing thank you notes, and saying please and thank you by the time we reach kindergarten, relatively few people discover the full meaning of this powerful word. I hadn’t given it serious thought myself until two things coincided a few months ago.
First I had the opportunity to attend a local program by Dr. Mawaru Emoto, author of The Hidden Messages in Water. I can’t begin to do justice her to Dr. Emoto’s work, but you can learn more about it by going to his website, Hado.net. Shortly after that program, I received an e-mail invitation to visit the Go Gratitude website to view a fascinating flash movie about the whole concept of gratitude, and after viewing the movie, I signed up for the free 42 day Go Gratitude e-mail program. Each day I received a thought-provoking e-mail on the topic.
As a result of this saturation process, I have discovered that focusing on gratitude is one of the best ways to lift my mood, focus my stories, and keep my writing flowing. Whenever I feel stuck for a story idea, simply pulling out the Gratitude Journal I’ve started is like attaching jumper cables from the battery in my car to my brain. Zzzap! A story is off and running.
I highly recommend making your own list, or beginning a gratitude journal (it doesn’t have to be long, daily, or structured, just random thoughts will do). To help you get started, here are a few items from my own list:
- My hubby, who vaporized a thundercloud by drawing a cartoon for my eyes only, showing the humor in an oppressive situation.
- Reyna’s Mexican Market — the only place in Pittsburgh to buy chili powder with the fragrance and bite of New Mexico.
- Living in our own personal wildlife park with deer, groundhogs, turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, the occasional possum and raccoon, and centuries old oak trees.
- Our amazing local and county public libraries that put a universe of knowledge and ideas in front of my eyeballs — at no charge!
- Computers, the Internet and open-source software that has unleashed creativity and fostered connections with people around the globe.
- Readers of this blog, especially those readers who leave comments....
What about you? Has gratitude played a major role in your life or thinking? How did you learn about the importance of gratitude? How do you express your gratitude? What aspects of your life are you especially grateful for?
Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal