Tag Archives: spiritual

Gratitude Circles

It is happening, now… Gratitude Squared is multiplying… Oh Happy Day!

Friends, peers, colleagues, strangers, and family are talking about “Gratitude”. They are sharing their own stories about being grateful, and/or joyous about various experiences in their life.

There is “positivity in the air”!

As the author of these blogs, I am watching the radius of circles rolling out as these “posts” are thrown out into the world, similar to dropping a pebble into a pond and being mesmerized by the perfect circles formed after the entry of the stone, falling into the deep waters.

People need each other so often form various groups, for friendship, for play, for spiritual blessings…

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Spiritual Practice of Gratitude Why?

You might ask, Why practice gratitude? The disciplined focus on gratitude should not be approached from the perspective of “what’s in it for me?”, but rather, consider what fills your own heart so that you are moved to attend to and appreciate events in your life in new ways.

Gratitude is a fullness of heart that moves you from limitation and fear to expansion and love. When you’re appreciating something, your ego moves out of the way. You can’t have your attention on ego and gratitude at the same time.

Deepak Chopra
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Is Gratitude Serious or Frivolous? Both

As I walked past these tables and chairs recently, I waited to be seated. I waited a long time because I am a rule follower. No one ever showed up. Finally I left!

This morning I read the update by Brett and Kate McKay “The Spiritual Disciplines: Gratitude within https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/spiritual-disciplines-gratitude/#

I recommend you take a look. It is a serious piece, but important lessons are within. For example, did you know that gratitude is the most scientifically studied? As a scientist, by my Ph.D. training, I like that fact. They also noted that gratitude is a “seasonal interest”. I think that is so sad! Further, gratitude, although familiar…. it is not mysterious as in what happens within solitude, nor is it an “inner adventure-evoking” experience as in fasting. I disagree. I believe I will find mystery and adventure during my journey through gratitude. Stay tuned.

The McKays also asked “if gratitude has been cheapened into something commonplace” as in “gratitude lite”, or is gratitude a moral virtue versus a “mood enhancer”? Further,

“What if it was made not of the soft sentimentality of greeting cards, but the sterner stuff of Stoicism, the rawness of marrow sucking, the severity of even death itself?”

I will summarize more of their article, or, even better, I suggest you take a look at the full piece, but I would like for you to consider all the wealth of thought that comes before us as we move through our own journeys through gratitude. I don’t know about you, but I am not yet ready for the “rawness of marrow sucking…” I think that today, I’ll stick to sentimentality of greeting cards….. Enjoy your day!

This is #gratitudeultra. See post on February 28, 2021 for definitions of categories of gratitude.

Self Study: How Do I Find Gratitude?

Gratitude is deeply personal. The experience and felt emotion comes from within. One may find their gratitude when receiving help, assistance, kindness from others, in appreciation for recognition, when you feel pleased, experience a positive emotion, develop strong relationships with family members, friends, or other people in your community, improve your health or life circumstances, give to others, or through spiritual study. Your pathway to gratitude may follow one or more of a variety of events throughout your life.

Robert Emmons describes two parts of gratitude:

  1. An Affirmation of goodness in the world, gifts, and benefits;
  2. The sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves, and such helps us achieve goodness in our life.
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Our Gratitude Stream

It seems important that we ask “What is gratitude”? Where does gratitude come from? Can anybody find gratitude? Is gratitude derived from giving or receiving, or both? These questions and the answers may offer us significant directions along our journeys and pathfinding to gratitude.

If we consider the event of dying as a stimulus, for example, has does knowing one is dying trigger the feeling of gratitude?  Or, if we feel deeply moved during a beautiful sunset, or when proudly watching our young child perform a speaking part in a school play, or watching a dog scratch his back on the grass, from where does this emotion we call gratitude come?  Gratitude is an emotion of thankfulness. It feels good. It is a form of pleasure, and positivity in life. It may be related to a positive mood, or memorable action, or creative idea. Gratitude has also been described as a spiritual discipline, or a grateful heart.

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Today is Your Special Day!

This is your special day! Consider what makes you happy? Do you love to travel to beautiful places like National Parks, museums, flower markets, waterfalls, lakes, gardens, churches, concerts, family gatherings? Do you enjoy being with people or alone? What do you wish for, if you had the time and/or money? What do you enjoy when you have the time? Some people love parties or movies or games. Some people love  to hike or exercise or listen to music, or all of the above. Some of you would appreciate an extra hour of sleep because you work long hours to care for your family. Whatever you are forced to do during each and every day, where might you find your joy each day? Is it tucking your children into bed, or peeking at them while they sleep? Does your pleasure come from your dog or cat greeting you when you come home? Or/and, do you find deeply moving moments as you read your Bible or experience your spiritual discoveries as you reflect upon God? Or, do you love nature, gardening, farming, and harvesting some of your own food from your own garden?  My point is that we all experience a feeling of gratitude which feels more or less the same, but the source of that feeling may come from vastly different causes or stimulations or events within each of our lives, because we are all different people.  What I am inviting you to seek is “gratitude”, your “gratitude”, during each and every day.  This blog is a guide to finding and uncovering, or seeking little moments for which you will be so grateful. The term “g squared” means that together we will multiply your gratitude, and generate a foundation on which you may build to get you through your tough times.

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