Monday Wonder: Gratitude
Written by
Cyndi Briggs
November 2010
Written by
Cyndi Briggs
November 2010
This is today's post from my blog, The Sophia Project. It's Thanksgiving this week, my favorite holiday. I love Thanksgiving for what it's not about: It's not about over-consumption or buying gifts I can't really afford; it's not about getting stuff; it's not about dressing up or showing off. Thanksgiving is simply about gratitude: for what we have, for thememories of a life well-lived, and for the unwritten future, still a blank page to be filled. And it's about eating. Gratitude and eating. What could be better than a full heart and a full belly? Cultivating gratitude is not about the massive gains in life we think we need to be happy: a new car, a new job, a marriage, a bigger house. While these things indeed bring us some short-term joy, they do not lay the groundwork for long term happiness. Gratitude in the little things, the tiny moments that make up an ordinary day, this kind of gratitude is capable of utterly up-ending a life, of bringing light into the dark places, of transformation. That feeling you get when you're back home after a terrible day at work: You're standing in your foyer, rain dripping from your coat, feeling miserable - and then you remember you have chicken soup in the freezer and your favorite TV show is on in a hour. That rush of pure joy you feel in that moment: that's gratitude. I'm listening to my cat snore right now as he sleeps. My dog is curled on the couch, her nose tucked into her paws, sighing contentedly. I hear the heat kick on this cool morning, but the sunshine through my front window lets me know today will be warm, and I can take the dog for a walk later. This is gratitude. I have a perfect cup of coffee next to me, and another one waiting in the warming pot. I get to go swing dancing tonight, and to have dinner with my inspired friends. This is gratitude. And if money is your concern today, as it is for many of us, consider this*:
  • If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep... you are richer than 75% of the world's population.
  • If you have a little money in the bank or spare change in a dish someplace... you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
  • *quoted from the book "1: How many people does it take to make a difference?"
Let's start this week of gratitude in wonder together. This week, let's ask ourselves, What am I grateful for? I'm going to ask you to consider this question with a twist: treat it not as an intellectual exercise, a list you make to fulfill the assignment. Instead, pay attention to your feelings this week. Watch quietly for those moments when you feel that rush of absolute joy, of gratitude, for the small moments of your life. And here's the neat part: once you let go of the need to think about gratitude, and begin to notice when you feel it instead, you are better and better able to create those moments on a more regular basis. Find the things that light you up from the inside, and a life of gratitude is yours for the taking. Walk in peace this week, my friends. And just so you know, I'm eternally, overwhelmingly, continually grateful for you.

Let's be friends

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