Welcome! This is a place to share how we celebrate & deepen our relationship to Nature. Here you will find stories, images, & ideas about wilderness, human nature, & soulfulness. Drawing from the experiences of everyday living, the topics on this blog include: forays into the natural world, the writing life, community service, meditation, creativity, grief & loss, inspiration, & whatever else emerges from these. I invite you on this exploration of the wild within & outside of us: the inner/outer landscape.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Gratitude, Revisited

Why should anybody care about being grateful, about cultivating and then harvesting the bounty of our gratitude?
When I asked this question, the answer was immediate and unambiguous: 
because it makes the world a better place in this moment.

“Gratitude helps us foster an emotional climate within us that translates to our external landscape...to our tasks, our relationships, our life changes, our attitudes... and, yes, to our writing.” 

Make a gratitude list. 
Craft a thank you note.   
Write a letter of recommendation.
Compose praiseful poetry or prose. 
Write down mantras or prayers of thanksgiving. 
Journal about life's blessings - general and specific.   
Write stories of challenges overcome. 
Send appreciative text messages or emails. 
Handwrite letters and greeting cards.
Etch words of gratitude into sand or dirt outside. 
Create prayer flags with messages of thanks.
Make a deck of angel cards focused on synonyms for gratitude.

Gratitude is a condition of the immediate. It is not about the future (which is “hope”) or about the past (which is “reverie”).
Gratitude is about what we have.
Gratitude is about balance; it doesn’t require a lot of something to have gratitude.
Gratitude is about small stuff as much as global, life-changing matters.
Gratitude is specific. (It is not, “my health is good.” It is, “my shoulder moves freely today.”)
Gratitude requires an acknowledgement of blessings.
More than a feeling or value, gratitude is a set of behaviors that we can cultivate.
Gratitude is about giving away to others, serving them, out of our abiding appreciation for life.

Gratitude. Thanks. Gratefulness. Appreciative acknowledgement. How wholly holy is the sacred practice of noticing right now, with our lips in the shape of a grin, and saying:
“I am grateful!”

Thanksgiving Mandala 2014 Stinson Beach, CA

All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2014 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."