I have so many interesting conversations with my students about gratitude. What might seem like a straightforward invitation to appreciate all the good quickly can become muddled in the expectation that one “should” be grateful. When a few students last semester expressed that they didn’t think they “should have to” feel grateful, I was taken aback. No, my darlings. You don’t have to! You get to. You get to experience the warmth and tingling. You get to feel a sense of connection with the world. You get to receive this gift of wonder and awe at all that graces your life. (These students and I worked together to figure out where this sense of “have to” was coming from, and it was from parents using it against them when they thought they weren’t showing adequate appreciation or were challenging their authority.)
So for me, I get to share what I am grateful for with my community each night. I get to take time to reflect on all the people, places, objects, foods, and events that make my life rich and beautiful. I get to bask in all the good feelies that flood my system and encourage me to stay connected to those things.
Tonight, I am grateful for:
The opportunity to reflect on and share my learning with this community.
Collaborating with reflective, humorous, hard-working colleagues at school and within the mindfulness community.
An amazing in-home daycare down the street that allows me to go and do the work I love
The opportunity to do work that comes from my heart.
Honey nut rice cakes (Seriously. They are good).
May you also wrap yourself up in the cozy sensations of gratitude each day.