Summer of Gratitude Contest…Continued

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. Cicero

I began the summer of gratitude challenge to learn how to experience the world through the magical filter of thanksgiving.  As I have consciously stopped the insidious habit of taking the details of my life for granted and focused on them as gifts,  I have become both more joyful and more able to actually receive the goodness that is right in front of me. It was such a powerful shift that I planned the Summer of Gratitude Contest which invited readers to share their own stories of gratitude.

The responses have made me more grateful still. Tender stories of near death experiences or even the lessons of loss have instilled brought me to tears. Realizing how little time we really have to love and appreciate the people who matter to us was a source of deep gratitude for many.  I often use this technique to wake myself up to a grateful way of seeing.   It only takes a quick mental prod for me to imagine that this might be the last moment I have to tell someone how much they mean to me.

Other stories reflected on the fragility of life and how exquisite the world is even in the midst of tragedy. I had never realized how much beauty and tenderness we hold for each other as we live through traumatic experiences. It may actually be one of the times when we are most fully human and able to be grateful for our time here. Trauma cuts away all of the superfluous and judgments.    We lean into life with our hearts open and all you can be is grateful.

Still other stories were about the glory of the mundane….  sunsets, flowers in bloom, dogs on a walk, marriages in tact, children healthy. Opening our eyes to the wonder of  the lives we are living day in and day out changes everything.

Some people commented that expressing gratitude shouldn’t be a contest, but rather a celebration. Truly after reading the responses, it seems true that it is impossible to choose a winner. Still, it feels easy to offer gifts for these stories and so we are awarding the first of many gratitude packages randomly in hopes that the momentum of the responses builds.

Adding gratitude to the world is cleansing, like the way the air smells after a warm summer rain. So pour it on. Notice the goodness around you and share it. Everyone wins.

Share your story of gratitude with others at the Summer of Gratitude Contest.

Related:

Positivity Quest: A Summer of Gratitude
Gratitude: It Starts With a List
Gratitude of a Gentle, Beautiful Reality

9 comments

Monica May
Monica May3 years ago

we all have something/someone to be grateful for everyday

Aud Nordby
Aud nordby3 years ago

ty

Fiona T.
Fi T.3 years ago

Summer is a time of warmth and energy, and so as gratitude to life

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Kath R.
Kath P.4 years ago

Beautiful, heartfelt advice.....thanks!

Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago

Thanks.

Camila K.
Kamila A.4 years ago

I am so grateful that in spite of the disasters of the world, here in my own little world of home and family, all are well and dream of living another beautiful day together. We have plans to "clean the clutter", hold a garage sale, finish our papers for summer classes, eat delicious food prepared at a restaurant by others who worked so hard to get that ready for our speedy pleasure, and I am grateful for being able to express myself so freely here where friends I may never meet may read my words and find a moment of inspiration to also find a bit of beauty too.

Francisco W.
Francisco W.4 years ago

Thanks

Kamryn M.
Kay M.4 years ago

thanks