Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse. – Henry Van Dyke
What is Gratitude?
There are two qualities the belong in our basic definition of gratitude. The first is appreciation: you recognize that something is valuable to you, which has nothing to do with its monetary worth. The second quality is that gratitude is gratis; freely given to you.
Gratitude has two key components; “First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received.“
In the second part of gratitude we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves. “We acknowledge that other people gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.”
“Gratitude is essentially the recognition of unearned increments of value in one’s experience.”Angeles Adrienne
Gratitude is a feeling that spontaneously emerges from within. However, it is not simply an emotional response; it is also a choice we make. We can choose to be grateful, or we can choose to be ungrateful – to take our gifts and blessings for granted. As a choice, gratitude is an attitude or disposition.
What is Gratefulness?
Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy – because we will always want to have something else or something more,
Gratefulness is about being able to notice and appreciate the gift itself, amidst the up and downs. It’s about knowing in our molecules that life is a gift, no matter how empty we may feel.Kristi Nelson
How do we Practice Gratefulness?
We cannot be grateful for all that a given moment brings us; yet, in any given moment, we can be grateful for something. The gift within the gift of any given moment is opportunity.
In order to practice gratefulness, we have to put little stop signs into our daily life. Unhurried, un-plugged summer days, which beautifully illustrates gratefulness. We should stop, look, and go into grateful living practice. As with the season of summer. If we stop and look at the beautiful things to be thankful for.
What is Grateful Living?
Grateful living is important in the world because in our constant pursuit of more and better, we can easily lose sight of the riches that lay right in front of us and within us.
Grateful living is a way of life which asks us to notice all that is already present and abundant – from the tiniest things of beauty to the grandest of our blessings – and in so doing, to take nothing for granted. We can learn to focus out attention on, and acknowledge, that life is a gift. Even in the most challenging times, living gratefully makes us aware of, and available to, the opportunities that are always available, opportunities to learn and grow, and to extend ourselves with care and compassion to others.
Grateful living is supported by daily practices, tool, habits of mind and behaviors that can be learned, translated and applied to any aspects of our lives, it is also nourished in community and In relationship.
Small, grateful acts every day can uplift us, and make a difference for others, and help change the world around us.