With Thanksgiving just behind us, I’ve been thinking and talking about gratitude quite a bit (as you might be too!) and feeling like something is missing. I think that often the way we are taught to practice gratitude is passive and is not the full picture. Gratitude as a thought or a feeling or a list or a journal prompt is nice and is a good starting point. These types of practices are a good way to recognize and acknowledge our own privilege and abundance, but a passive type of practice doesn’t do much good for anyone if it stops there.
Gratitude at its best is an active process. Gratitude at it’s best looks like feeling how abundant I am and giving my overflow to someone else. Gratitude looks like recognizing how healthy I am and being of service to someone struggling with their health. Gratitude looks like acknowledging how much time I have and offering my time to something worthwhile. Gratitude looks like recognizing how much material abundance I have and giving some of it to someone else who needs it. Gratitude looks like remembering how much I already have and not buying more stuff I don’t need. Gratitude at its best looks like SERVICE.
Inspired by this quote, by Anne Lammot: "Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behavior. It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides. It means that you are willing to stop being such a jerk. When you are aware of all that has been given to you, in your lifetime and the past few days, it is hard not to be humbled, and pleased to give back."
Thank you for reading!