Feeling Gratitude & Being Appreciative

Off the top of my head, and in less than 5 minutes, I generated all these ideas—big and small, specific and general of people, relationships, and experiences that fill me with gratitude.

As I breathe in the crisp, cold, early morning air as I walk Gus, a sense of gratitude washes over me. I start to explore that feeling.  A cascade of experiences and names of people start tumbling through my mind— the training courses I have attended, the courses created and delivered, the people met, the new relationships formed, the books read and listened to, the places traveled, times with family and friends, and the list goes on. And these are very specific memories I’m thinking of—like snapshots in my mind.

Honestly, there have been challenges this year too. Life is full of ups and downs. In my world of family and friends—sickness, chronic conditions, and death—to the state of our country, the ever-present scourges of racism, misogyny, lack of adequate food, healthcare, and housing, gun violence, immigration atrocities, unequal educational opportunities, our class system, the reality of climate change, unstable geopolitics, and more.

I have had to develop ways to effectively work with and handle these realities. In essence, I am particular about the sources of information I choose to consume and conscious of the “right” amount of information. I seek to be informed and engaged without becoming overwhelmed as this is the way I move forward.

What are the tools and resources you use to re-balance?

Who and what support you in your efforts to live in a state of equilibrium?

I want to be sure that I’m being clear that working to achieve equilibrium through:

  • eating well
  • hydrating
  • exercising
  • connecting with family and friends
  • learning
  • creating art consistently
  • and reading books that challenge me

enables me to volunteer my time to organizations/causes I believe in and pursue my (rigorous) studies in chaplaincy. I’m not talking about ignoring the world and our challenges to sit and eat bonbons on the couch (but you knew that). I am talking about ensuring that I have the energy to pursue change in my personal and the larger world.

Here are just a few books I’ve read over the past few years that support my mind, body, and soul. Perhaps you will find one or more of them interesting.

I’d love to hear from you about the resources and practices you turn to on this journey. Please share them!

I realize what a very full year I have had…   I am reminded of how much there is to appreciate in my life. With that in mind, I was thinking it’s time to offer another Appreciative Living Learning Circle. It seems fitting to start before the end of this year and continue it into the beginning of next year. If you’re curious to learn more, check my Calendar page.

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