Today I am taking a moment to share a little gratitude. I hope that it will inspire you to consider all of the things that you feel grateful for during this time when so many other things feel out of our control.
What are you grateful for?
I know this might sound a little “woo woo”. When we talk about things like cultivating gratitude it can sound like we presume the value is just self-evident. This risks coming across as a bit pretentious or spiritually self-righteous to some. At times, I definitely resemble that comment. But to take the practice as spiritual or as some sort of hippy mumbo jumbo misses the point. Over the years we’ve seen increasing scientific evidence that gratitude, and similar practices, have clear and immediate benefits. And it’s not just that it can impact mood or outlook (which are themselves sort of slippery concepts, given their high degree of subjectivity).
Gratitude can actually change your body chemistry – your concrete bits and pieces – in all sorts of positive ways. There is a growing body of research in the social and biological sciences that shows what many of us have known for years: Taking time to pause and reflect on the positive things in our life changes who we are. And it changes who we are in amazing ways (If you want to read more, check out a few of the articles I provide at the bottom of this post). And I think we could all use a dose of amazing after spending too many days cooped up at home with all the wonderful people we are so grateful for in our lives, doing work from our kitchen tables, while helping with remote learning and other activities for our kids, wondering what might happen with the markets, and hoping our government might come to some agreement on actions to address some of the very real impacts happening in our communities. I can’t think of any time in recent history in which the benefits of gratitude have been needed more than right now.
Here’s 10 things I’m grateful for today. I hope you join me and come up with yours.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to reassess just about everything in my life. I feel like this time has forced me to prioritize things differently. What fits and where it fits. The unessential is rapidly getting moved aside.
- I am grateful for time with people I care about. Yes, being stuck in the house on quarantine with even the most amazing people can be…a whole lot of togetherness to contend with. But I am surrounded by amazing people and I am so grateful to have them in my life.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to get outside and move. Little walks and spaces I may have taken for granted just a week or two ago now shine bright as a highlight of my day.
- I am grateful for birds. As I sit here on my patio writing, there is a chorus of birds singing. They don’t seem to care what the market is doing.
I am grateful for the produce section. I’m not saying I am having any luck buying rice or beans yet. But, the produce section at my grocery store is vibrant. I was already tilting towards green on my plate lately, but the silver lining in the run on anything shelf-stable is that it nudged me deep into the delicious plants just right of the chip and cookie aisle.
- I am deeply grateful for the human spirit. I get reminded daily that humanity as a whole is compassionate and collective. I have seen so many selfless acts of service, community and connection over the past week. Our government still seems to have a little ways to go, but in my local community I see real compassion and desire to help. It’s wonderful to see after so many years of increasing polarization in our lives.
- I am grateful for technology. I am sure we all feel a little bit isolated right now. But, I can’t imagine how different it would be without FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, smart phones, online games, streaming yoga and exercise classes, etc. Amazing and wonderful. Technology can definitely isolate us in normal life if we’re not careful, it’s good to see it can keep us truly connected as well.
- I am grateful for ourworldindata.org/coronavirus. I don’t watch the news much, but have been inspired to watch it lately…and uninspired by the quality of the content and the lack of facts and data. This website is my current obsession. In particular, I love this chart:
I’ve been checking it daily (at least). The organization appears to be a non-profit. I plan to donate. If you love it, think about donating as well. We need more information like this!
- I am grateful for the opportunity to help others. None of us want the upheaval and uncertainties that come with times like this. But, the opportunity to help and lift the burden of others is incredibly rewarding. Errands, listening, sharing, making an effort to connect with community, every part of it feels wonderful.
- I am grateful for my team at Painted Porch. I’m not just saying this because they’re giving me editorial feedback and I want to butter them up. It feels so good to be in the trenches with talented, passionate, caring people that share a vision and a mission. Work isn’t the only place this happens in my life, but like with any new company, it’s powerful to be navigating this time with people I think so highly of and feel so aligned with.
What are you grateful for? Would love to hear your list in the comments below. And, please pay it forward. Spreading gratitude is positive energy we can all benefit from.
Stay safe and be well. Big hug.
Just a few recent articles and research pieces on Gratitude: