First of all I’d like to express my joy and thank each and every one of you for taking part in the gratitude challenge Over 90 of us are currently participating -both via emails and facebook.
The dream was and still is to create a grateful community and eventually a shift in collective consciousness. A small shift from our human tendency to usually notice what causes us “disatisfactoriness” to paying attention to what we are content with, what we are grateful for. Your receptivity and participation is nothing but taken for granted and I can’t express in words how excited it is to know that so many men and women are committed to opening their heart to love, gratitude and appreciation and willing to explore deeper the depths of that practice. I’m excited, grateful and hopeful .
The Challenge – What to Expect
Some of you are practicing meditation for many years. Some of you, I know, already have an established daily gratitude practice. For some it would be the first time to take on a practice. I will do my best to address all the spectrum.
The aspiration is to remember to stop (at least) ten times a day and express our gratitude. The way I see it, the challenge is about introducing gratitude as a more predominant experience in our lives. Thus, during the challenge I will introduce a few ideas which I found helpful in creating a more intensive gratitude practice. I will also upload a few guided meditations and suggest different exercises to help us reconnect with our own and others’ generosity and beauty.
Each day will be dedicated to either a theme for contemplation or a tool to practice gratitude. I will try and address themes as gratitude to our families, friends, health, bodies, food and nature. I will also discuss interconnectedness, generosity, compassion, appreciative joy, presence, mindfulness and more. Feel free to use what’s useful and beneficial for you and ignore the rest. I hope that the daily reminders will assist in keeping the practice interesting and diverse.
Those of us who “play” on facebook are of course welcome to use the gratitude challenge board to connect and inspire each other, share what you’re grateful for and how you find the practice to be.
From my own experience of practicing gratitude intensively. Initially, it did require some mental effort and reminders. However, it wasn’t long before the practice got going and once I got into the rhythm my attention was naturally drawn towards people and situations in my life I felt grateful for. Somehow, and I’m sure you will very soon experience it for yourself, every authentic experience of gratitude increases our capacity to experience more and more gratitude, appreciation, joy and love.
One word about the daily reminders. I did promise them in the morning, however, as we now have representatives from all six continents, morning doesn’t really mean the same to all of us. I will do my best to send daily emails following UK’s morning time. I hope it would work out for all of us.
And finally, I’d like to apologize in advance for any spelling or grammar mistake I might have. English has been my first language for the past few years and I’m doing all right but it still isn’t my mother tongue, thus, I sometimes make spelling, grammar or pronunciation mistakes and I do ask for your patience and forgiveness.
So welcome aboard. I’m really grateful for your presence and support and for allowing me the opportunity to contemplate gratitude hundreds times a day. I wish all of us an incredible journey and I look forward to hearing your experiences, thoughts and wishes.
p.s. the photograph is the work of the magnificent photographer Antony Spencer.