Gratitude2012 has taken off already! Join us…Occupy Gratitude

“Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.” — The Hausa of Nigeria

I wrote the first article about the Magnolias West Gratitude Challenge 2012 just last week, and I stated that we would begin as a group in January. I am delighted to report that the urge to express gratitude is strong (why does that sentence make me feel like Yoda, oh well, I’m leaving it). We have a lively group already. So we have begun!

I read a lot about how others use gratitude practice. Thought I’d share some of the good ones with you.

  • Valerie Reiss, on BeliefNet, talks about and shows slides of her daily A–Z list: As she says, “Count your blessings” is simple to the point of stupid—and powerful to the point of life-altering.”
  • Another one from BeliefNet, Kim Ridley on gratitude. She quotes Robert Emmons of UC Davis: “Practicing gratitude helps people extract the most out of life. People can also experience an overall shift to a more benevolent view of the world. I think it’s kind of a spiritual shift for some people because it makes them more aware of life as a gift.”
  • Mary Bast has an article on her blog where she quotes Phillip Moffit’s “Selfless Gratitude”: “…Gratitude is the sweetest of all the practices for living the dharma in daily life and the most easily cultivated, requiring the least sacrifice for what is gained in return. It is a very powerful form of mindfulness practice, particularly for students who have depressive or self-defeating feelings, those who have access to wonder as an ecstatic state, and those with a reactive personality who habitually notice everything that’s wrong in a situation… Practicing mindfulness of gratitude consistently leads to a direct experience of being connected to life and the realization that there is a larger context in which your personal story is unfolding.”

It’s so exciting to see so many people Occupying Gratitude. Spread the word!

Join the 2012 Gratitude Challenge.

Starting January 1, 2012, I invite everyone to join me for a year of Gratitude. Although this is a year-long program, you can join any old time you want, simply by sending me your first gratitude list in an email. We’re going to create a Magnolias West Gratitude 2012 community! There are two ways you can participate.

  • Embrace a Weekly Gratitude Practice. Every Friday, beginning as soon as you like, send me an email with a list of ten items for which you are grateful.
  • Or get the Full Bloom by sending me a ten-item Gratitude List every day. That’s ten grats x 365 days—3,650 gratitudes!

Either way, schedule time in your calendar to write this list (hint: might take twenty minutes when you start; with a little practice count on about ten minutes per list. Send your gratitude emails to Sue [at] MagnoliasWest [dot] com.

My part: I read your emails—every one of them! Once the group gets big enough, we will make small groups so you can all read and be inspired by each others’ gratitudes. I will respond privately on occasion, especially when I’m moved by your gratitudes (which I often am; how can I help but be moved?). I also write a weekly blogpost with my own gratitude list of that day, and a roundup of your own moving and thoughtful gratitudes. The post will also include an inspiring quote (like the one at the top of this article) guaranteed to encourage your gratitudes to bloom!

In case you were wondering, I am grateful today, and I’d like to share my gratitude list with you.

  • I am grateful for the willingness and ability to get up at four on Saturday so I could be at Baker Beach before six to see the setting of the eclipsed full moon. Beautiful!
  • I am grateful that a friend met me at Baker and walked the beach with me, took me to her house for tea, and then joined me for dim sum on Clement Street.
  • I am grateful that I was able to collect seawater (thanks to a fisherman in chest-high waders) and a stray feather to use to welcome women at ritual on Saturday night.
  • I am grateful that a friend came over for dinner and went to the full moon ritual with me.
  • I am grateful, so grateful, that the transition to Google apps for business is going well. Intensive amount of work needed, but no big failures. And accomplished during a Mercury retrograde, no less! 
  • I am grateful from my toes up that the last Merc retrograde of ’11 is ending today. Nearly everything that could go wrong, technologically speaking, did.
  • I am grateful that my developer partner does such a good job for me behind the scenes, moving MX records so my email will go where I want it to.
  • I am grateful for my partner in all things art and herbal. We decanted our herbal vinegars and tinctures, filling lots of little bottles and vials for gifts and for our own use.
  • I am grateful for the inspiring presentation I heard last night from KC Baker. Learned some good stuff about connecting in the most loving and powerful way.
  • And I am grateful for SmartWool socks, my fleece jacket, and layers. Staying warm in my chilly office.

Blessings! Chilly winter only-one-more-week-until-the-light-begins-to-return blessings to all!

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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.


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