This post is in several parts. First, I want to talk about the power of gratitude. Second, I want to share some of my gratitude. Finally, I want to share with you an opportunity to share gratitude with me and many others. If you want to jump to the gratitude event of the season, scurry over to Tweetgiving.
I remember being teased lovingly for my gratitude and thanking habits when I was a teen, and I am still at it. Why? Gratitude is such a powerful force in creating happiness and joy – both in the giver and the receiver. This isn’t just my experience. Research has tied gratitude to happiness, combating depression, greater creativity, and greater overall success. Gratitude can show up in many ways: keep gratitude journal, remember to thank others for kindness, acknowledging privilege of place/time/birth, documenting appreciation of others, give back (volunteer) or pay it forward (donate) and many more. I regularly use the #gratitude tag on twitter and post my appreciation of others. Not only is this about being positive, it also creates a feedback loop so those I thank might feel encouraged to do more of what I admire about them. Let me expand on my gratitude in specifics here.
It is a daunting task to express gratitude here today. I am usually flowing with it, and I wish I had the space here to say everything I am grateful for. Today, wanting to be more comprehensive, I fear I will forget many important people and experiences I am profoundly grateful for. However, to be exhaustive may take the rest of my life. So consider this a small excerpt.
- For their profound impact on me, their generosity, and weekly sharing, my dearest friends, thank you: Steve Crandall, Valdis Krebs, Todd Hoskins, Jill Palermo, Evonne Heyning, and Tracy Gary.
- For deep and long term support, listening, challenging, and championing, thank you: Hava Gurevich, Jo Guldi, Monica Zaucha, Lewis Hoffman, Justin Lowell-Bellew, Michael Maranda, and Arthur Brock.
- For deep spirit conversations and mentorship: Ken Homer, Sheri Herndon, and Chris Byrne.
- For believing in me and my dream and taking it on as their own, the thrivable champions: Jerry Michalski, Kevin Clark, Kevin Doyle Jones, Leif Utne, Sidney Hargro, Gil Friend, Charles, and several of those already listed. And for investment in thrivable: David Hodgson and Ruth Ann Harnish. For being such an evangelist: Steve Jennings. Also thanks to Loren Cole for powerful conversations, support, and a magnificent picnic.
- For creating a ring of female energy around me that feeds me and keeps me true: Kaliya Hamlin, Jessica Margolin, Lisa Tracy, Lisa Parker, Christina Jordan, Maryann Fernandez, Karen Payne, Julie Peterson, Judi Clark, Tree Breeson, Kara Carell, Dorothee Royal-Hedinger, Sarah Connor, Michelle Haimoff, Kathrine Mancuso, Diane Mikutis, Susan Gleason, Stacey Monk, Kimberly Olson, my mother and sister, and several of those already listed.
- For their faith, by which I saw myself anew, may they each know how transformative they are and my undying gratitude, no matter how many years pass: Tom Munnecke, David Isenberg, Dan Rose, Ron Strickland, Rebecca Saunders, Thomas Kriese, Clary Mulvany, Christine Egger, Rory Turner, Susan Megy (and many of those above most notably Hava Gurevich, Steve Crandall, Tracy Gary, Valdis Krebs, and Jerry Mikalski).
- For laughter and honesty: Ashis Brahma, Jim Fussell, Ethan McCutchen, Jack Ricchuito, Nathan Lenkowski, Peter Kaminski, Pete Forsyth, Tom Portante, Lonny Grafman, Chris Watkins, Gerard Senehi.
- Most of all, my two amazing children by whose grace I realized why I am alive and what I am here for.
- I am also grateful, beyond my social life, for growing up in the hilly woods and prairie of a morraine in central Illinois, for playing in dirt and in trees, for many days idly kayaking with loved ones, for the magnificence of my horses (who I miss very much), for the art that adorns my space, and the beauty of the world as a whole.
- I am grateful for my senses that let me take in such a magnificent world. I am grateful for my travels which have taken me to nearly every state and a few countries beyond the US. I am grateful that I was raised in a multi-cultural university setting and the privilege and perspective that afforded me.
- I am grateful for the pain in my life – the many surgeries, the broken bones, and the birthing which brought me into my body in generative ways. And the spiritual, intellectual, and emotional pain and suffering which has shaped me and strengthened me magnificently.
- And I am grateful to myself – my constant companion and mirror friend, whose advice and instincts I trust above all others and who has carried me through thick and thin, found the goodness in all things, done hard work, and taken delight. That might seem a bit vain, but after 37 years on the planet, I trust myself in really inspiring and powerful ways that fuel my courage, commitment, and generosity, and that is a beautiful and precious thing.
To share gratitude this year, I am partnering with several others on TweetsGiving! Come appreciate life with me!
TweetsGiving is a global celebration of gratitude benefiting US nonprofit Epic Change and supporting Shepherds Junior, a primary school in Arusha, Tanzania. TweetsGiving gratitude parties are now scheduled in over 30 cities from Canberra, Australia to Tel Aviv, Israel to New York City. We hope you’ll join our global gratitude celebration! Together, our gratitude has the power to change the world.
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This post was created as part of a global groundswell of gratitude called TweetsGiving. The celebration, created by US nonprofit Epic Change, is an experiment in social innovation that seeks to change the world through the power of gratitude. I hope you’ll visit the TweetsGiving site to learn more, and to bring your grateful heart to the party by sharing your gratitude, and giving in honor of that for which you’re most thankful.