First of all, YOU are on my gratitude list. The fact that you are here with me and reading what I’m writing is a gift to me because it means I have company on this journey of my work and life, and that matters A LOT.
I have so much to be grateful for — from the forest I walked in yesterday with a friend (plus those delicate ice designs forming on the little stream), to the joy of being with a playful six-year-old neighbor after school. And every day I’m grateful for my meaningful work and my caring spouse. 🥰
I make a gratitude list each night, because it keeps me sane. (Gotta counterbalance all the insanity, ya know?)
As a bonus, when I bask in gratitude, I notice I have capacity to give more, and giving is a gift for me too. So joyful! Like a positive feedback loop!
In this post:
- Gratitude and Grief Together (Hint: It leads to Joy.)
- An Abundance of Giving (cool example)
- Your Unique Joyful Way of Sharing Your Gifts
🍁 Gratitude + Grief Together
Feeling grateful for what I have means I am also aware, at the same time, of so many harms and unmet needs in the world. It’s the tension you have to be with, if you have a big heart, and I know you do.
Gratitude and grief seem to arrive as a pair — like when a holiday comes and it reminds you of who’s missing.
I know we can handle feeling gratitude and grief on the same day, by something like following an infinity symbol that weaves back and forth. ∞
I find that allowing the range of feelings actually increases my underlying sense of joy and generosity. (More on that abundance feeling below.) Alternatively, stuffing hard feelings leaves us less vibrant, more constricted, and frankly, depressed. I learned that the hard way.
A tough example of gratitude and grief coming together is when “Thanksgiving” is celebrated in the U.S., tomorrow, and the same day is a National Day of Mourning for Indigenous people.
I wrote more about all of this and what helps me find my footing amidst the messiness of it all, in this post.
🌿 An Abundance of Giving
I just read this quote (found in this article and podcast) that so beautifully captures what’s possible for this positive feedback loop.
Gratitude and reciprocity are the currency of a gift economy, and they have the remarkable property of multiplying with every exchange, their energy concentrating as they pass from hand to hand, a truly renewable resource.
I accept the gift from the bush and then spread that gift with a dish of berries to my neighbor, who makes a pie to share with his friend, who feels so wealthy in food and friendship that he volunteers at the food pantry. You know how it goes.”
~ Robin Wall Kimmerer – mother, scientist, professor, enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants.
And that reminds me, a colleague dropped off a little berry pie for me the other day, out of the blue. Now I’m reminded of that gift again, on another level.
It did add to my feeling of abundance and the cycle of life, and now it is again.
Inspiration from a pie!
💖 Your Unique Joyful Way of Sharing Your Gifts
There are so many ways to give and keep the positive feedback loop going. You don’t have to do it someone else’s way. Large or “small”, it all matters.
One way to know you’ve found a good fit for sharing your unique gifts is that it brings you joy!
May you enjoy an abundance of giving.
You have so much to offer, as is.
And it doesn’t have to wear you out in the process.