Only gratefulness, in the form of limitless openness for surprise, lays hold of the fullness of life in hope.
I just learned of a 21-Day Gratitude Challenge put on by YES magazine and KindSpring.org that I wanted to let you know about. As I've written about many times, gratitude has helped me find my way through my grief in ways that are almost impossible to explain. When your life is turned completely upside down and you realize just how impermanent it all is, then it's only natural to begin to focus on the present and everything that we have right now. Being grateful for all the little things that make up my day, helps me create a more meaningful life. Of course, that sounds a bit simplistic, but I think you get the general idea.
Anyway, this 21-Day Gratitude Challenge is coming on the heels of a Kindness Challenge they did back in September. While the Kindness Challenge focused on the many ways people can give, the Gratitude Challenge will focus on the many ways one receives. As they say on their website, "an attitude of gratitude is a surefire way to fill your heart." And when your heart is full, kindness naturally flows.
The Challenge begins this Thursday November 7 and ends (appropriately enough) on Thanksgiving Day. I signed up today, and if you are interested, I encourage you to check it out. Right now there are 7369 people signed up. Here's the link.
As I understand it, participants will receive a daily e-mail with inspiration and ideas for recognizing gratitude in your day. I've been meaning to start a gratitude journal, so perhaps this will be the kick-start I need to make that happen.
As we all know, it's far too easy to rush through our lives and not take the time to look around at what is right before us. But taking time to experience true moments of awe and gratitude can help bring us into the present moment, which in turn makes life more meaningful.
Finally, even if you don't wish to participate, I encourage you to go to the link and scroll down to the bottom of the page for a short 12-minute video clip about a 108-year-old Holocaust survivor. I remember when this video made the rounds a couple of years ago, and it is definitely worth a viewing. Alice Herz Sommer speaks many truths throughout the video, not the least of which is that she has learned to be thankful for everything. Isn't that something we should all strive for?