Wednesday, December 1, 2010
This year, I had a nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner. My sister and I enjoyed a lovely meal at a Latin-Indian fusion restaurant. When people asked me about my Thanksgiving plans, I would joke, "Non-traditional. We are eating in a restaurant. I'm not even giving thanks."
That couldn't be farther from the truth, however. This year, I have decided to make gratitude a practice, one that expands well beyond the Thanksgiving table, traditional or not. Inspired by a dharma talk that Tara Brach recently gave on gratitude, I immediately asked a friend if she would be my gratitude buddy. In her talk, Tara had suggested this idea, saying that if you make an agreement to send a daily note to someone listing three things for which you are grateful, you will not only put into place a daily ritual of giving thanks, but you can look forward to getting one positive e-mail a day. In our case, we have opted to send text messages: just simple lists of what we are feeling the most thankful for in a given day, every day, for a month.
My plan is to keep this up for a year with the hope of inviting someone new to join me each month. What motivates me is my curiosity; I wish to see what giving conscience attention to engendering gratitude will foster.
My friend and I have been sending messages for a week now and I already have a lot to report. Many posts worth I am sure. And for that, I am grateful. This has not been a trivial project.
Wishing you balance,
P.S. Speaking of gratitude, take time to visit the Express Your Gratitude site and nominate a loved one for a massage giveaway this holiday season. (Rochester, NY massage therapists, including Body In Balance have donated free bodywork sessions for the lucky recipients. You can even request a specific LMT. If you are a reader from afar, visit anyway, the sentiments expressed are very moving.)