“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful,
it’s gratefulness that makes us happy.”
– David Steindl-Rast
Thanksgiving is coming and I know many of us will sit around with family and friends and some will take the time to share something we’re grateful for. I’d like to suggest that you make this a daily gratitude practice, not just once a year on Thanksgiving. Do you think you’ll have a hard time coming up with something to say every day? I’ve got something that will help open your heart to the incredible gifts that we are given each and every moment.
A beautiful, moving video that will help you to celebrate the things we take for granted every day. It’s been around for a while but even if you’ve seen it, it’s truly worth watching again. I’d highly recommend you watch with your family and friends – maybe on Thanksgiving Day – and watch it on the biggest screen you can, you won’t be sorry.
It’s called, “Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.” and it’s Louie Schwartzberg’s stunning time-lapse photography, accompanied by powerful words from Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast, which serves as a meditation on being grateful for every day. (It’s only 9 mins – time well spent!)
If you read my blog post on nature, you know that I’ve always found nature to be soul-nourishing. Just watching this video is almost as good as being out in nature, it makes me grateful to be part of this vast universe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
AND, I hope this inspires you to start a daily gratitude practice in whatever way feels good to you. Before you get out of bed in the morning, when you’re brushing your teeth, in the shower, at a set time each day, or before dinner, just take a few seconds, take a deep breath and fully feel in your heart what you’re thankful for.
Brene Brown (if you don’t know her, absolutely read her books, she’s an author and researcher who studies courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy), anyway, she talks about how it affected her life when she started doing a gratitude practice with her family.
“Every night at dinner, we go around and say something we’re grateful for. It’s been extraordinary, because not only does it absolutely invite more joy into our house, it also is such a soulful window into what is going on in my kid’s lives.”
What a bonus for parents who are always trying to figure out what their kids are thinking.
So, last thoughts on gratitude. It doesn’t mean your life is perfect and everything is great, it means you appreciate what’s good in your life and you’re grateful for it. My life is hard, living without Matt. Grief will always be with me, every day. But there is always something to be grateful for.
Matt lived for 32 years, not long enough, but some people have lost children much younger. Matt knew he was loved and he truly enjoyed life, not everyone has that. Matt touched so many people with his kindness and compassion, his actions will ripple on forever.
I’m also very grateful for our other son, Brian, and my husband, Ron, and all the family and friends who have given me their love and support. I know how lucky I am to have such a wonderful group of people who are there for me through it all.
Last, I’m grateful for my MKRO (Matt’s Kindness Ripples On) family. That’s you, everyone who supports us through nominating people who inspire you, submitting acts of kindness, signing up for our blog posts, writing comments on our posts, sharing our site, donating to our site, and of course to all our Kindness Award and Grant winners.
May you count your blessings, not only this Thanksgiving but every day.
There is always something to be grateful for.
Share with me in the comments below what you are grateful for – that’s a great start to your gratitude practice : )
As always, I’d appreciate it if you would help me get the word out about the Matt Kurtz Kindness Award of $250 (nominate someone who inspires you) and the Matt Kurtz Kindness Grant of $250 (submit an act of kindness you would do with $250).