I knew that I wanted the first Friday Five Live this month to focus on gratefulness and gratitude. It’s November and our thoughts naturally turn to Thanksgiving but I wanted to dig deeper, learn more. During my podcast-listening and video-watching this week, these three little words stopped me in my tracks. Stop. Look. Go.
If you’re clicking over from the Facebook Friday Five Live episode, THANK YOU! I’ve enjoyed prepping for today’s talk this week even though I’m not yet comfortable being in front of the camera. What I’ve learned about myself is that I am not great at conversation. Oh, I’m fine and can hold my own but I tend to do that by asking a lot of questions and being a good listener. I am grateful for that revelation and for the realization that it’s OKAY to be a listener in a world full of boisterous, opinionated voices.
One. The beginning.
The first stop in my journey in search of practicing deeper gratefulness brought me to my friend Jackie’s latest blog post. Her superpower, kindfulness, is a mashup of being kind and mindful; “Being present with kindness is the goal.” Jackie’s posts are always super inspiring to me. Read her post. I couldn’t even begin to explain this practice as well as she does. Note her three ways of combining kindness with mindfulness: meditation, deep breaths, kind words. Grateful for friends who make me think.
Two. The Middle.
Next, I consulted Sir Google and searched for gratefulness podcasts. The first link I clicked sent me to Tim Ferriss and a short nibble-of-a-podcast-episode on mindfulness. Again, check it out for yourself but what I found was starting to correlate with what Jackie said; Tim practices mindfulness by meditating, journalling, thanking, taking “deep breath breaks,” and nightly reviews (more writing).
Three. The End. Except isn’t this FRIDAY FIVE?
My last stop introduced me to a Benedictine monk named David Steindl-Rast. His Ted Talk stopped me in my tracks. Three little words. Easy words. Words we learned probably in grade school. Made me pause.
Four. Stop. Look. Go.
Steindl-Rast’s philosophy: Gratefulness makes us happy. Be grateful for the opportunities we are given at any given moment.; they are what we should be grateful for, be happy for. Every moment is a new opportunity to experience gratitude.
Five. The beginning, again.
The more I listened to Brother David, the more inspired I felt to read more on how to practice gratefulness which brought me to gratefulness.org, which he cofounded. I particularly like the Light A Candle section. Confession: I’m not a religious person, but I do like traditions, rituals, taking a moment to send a thought out into the world. Sometimes those thoughts connect with other, similar thoughts, and like-minded people. I got lost in clicking flames and reading little snippets of people’s most inner desires, gratitudes, and whatever words they left for the universe. Some of them were prayers. Some were pleas for healing. Most were very personal. All were opportunities to be grateful.
Join me in lighting a candle this November. If you’d care to Stop. Look. Go. and light a candle throughout the month, use the tag #dsgr8ful to link together our candles. Let the light out our combined flames shed gratefulness on us all throughout the season.