I started this little personal project of acknowledging daily gratitudes for 30 days when I was sitting at kind of a low point in my life, back in December of 2009. It proved to be transformative to seek out and celebrate what I feel truly blessed to have in my life, during a time of year that is so steeped in expectation, wants and commercialism. Each year since, I have committed to this same meditation in gratitude.
From 2011:"My Papa always said that it takes 30 days to break a habit, or 30 days of meditation to really begin to effect a change within you. Focusing on daily gratitudes has helped me to recommit myself to the things that move and inspire me during a very hectic and stressful time of year. Some of these gratitudes are small and silly, some of them bind me to my community and are woven in the deeper strands of my heart. It's the moment that you take the pause and find the glimmer...that's where the good stuff is...in that moment, in that pause, in that gratitude...no matter how simple, right?"
But here's the truth...the elephant in the room, as they say, the wind has been knocked out of my sails this fall. I'm still reeling from the election results, still fearful for so many people that I love and care about, still so incredibly disappointed that the candidate that was so outwardly hateful was elected. Each day that a new cabinet appointment is named, the wound is reopened and I'm reminded of how appalling this whole mess is. I'm still so angry, and hurt, and disappointed, I don't feel ready to do this annual ritual. Somehow it feels like normalizing the madness. Does that make sense? I mean...normalizing gratitude doesn't sound like a bad thing, but I don't want to fall into a routine that routes my focus away from vigilance, activism, and I'll be honest, outrage.....
All that being said...I'm not ready to give up on this ritual, I'm just not exactly sure what it's going to look like. Maybe more images made, more poetry, maybe less about my comfortable shoes or favorite coffee drink? I'm not sure. I do know that each day I will seek out a personal gratitude, and also acknowledge a person or organization that inspires me in the way that they are fighting the good fight. If you have anyone I should know about, please send them my way.
So here we go with year 8....and this is where I ask you if you'd like to join me. It seems like coming together and sharing gratitudes on even this small level might help lift us ever so slightly out of this fog, but I don't know. There's no pressure, no rules, no expectations...but if you'd like to bumble along this path with me...with us, I'd love to have you along. As usual, my goal is to finish on New Year's Eve. It seems like a fitting way to kick 2016 to the curb and welcome 2017, no? I know that December has 31 days, but this way I have a 'gimme' somewhere along the way in case I need it. Some days it’s just hard to get it to all come together. If you want to shout out your gratitude, feel free to put it in the comments, link to your blog, your Flickr, your Instagram, Facebook it up...whatever works for you. Over the years we've had many folks join us in a whole host of different ways. I've cleared out last year's participants from the blog-roll over there on the right hand side. If you'd like to be re-added or wanna give it a fresh go, I'd love to add you, just let me know. Want to hold your gratitude in silence? Already finished a 30 day gratitude project? Or maybe not feeling it this year? Needless to say....understood.
Feeling like you want to join? We tiptoe in tomorrow.