When I sit around a circle of 5 year olds and I hear them offering gratitude to the water during a dry spell or for their parents for packing them lunch, I can see that this practice of thanksgiving is a paradigm shift from scarcity to abundance, selfishness to interconnectedness.
Every gathering, meeting and program at Wild Earth begins the same way; sharing gratitude. At times I’ve come in to one of these gratitude circles hungry, grumpy or simply not feeling very grateful. At those times I’ve felt reluctant to shift my state, wanting instead to stew in my sadness.
When I shared this dis-ease with a co-worker, expressing that it felt inauthentic to share gratitude when I wasn’t feeling it, she reminded me that offering gratitude is a practice, just like meditating. Though one’s mind may feel crowded and unwilling or able to sit in silence, if you are committed to a meditation practice, you do it anyway! I’ve had to kick and fight my way to meditation on more than one occasion and it’s in those moments of resistance that I have received the most inspiration and reward. The same has been true with offering gratitude.
At the end of the day we have a choice on how we want to perceive the world and that choice will largely shift how we experience reality. When we connect with what we are grateful for we are opening ourselves up to the all the blessings and good fortune that exist in our lives. Gratitude then becomes the doorway to abundance.
When I sit around a circle of 5 year olds and I hear them offering gratitude to the water during a dry spell or for their parents for packing them lunch, I can see that this practice of thanksgiving is a paradigm shift from scarcity to abundance, selfishness to interconnectedness. It’s a practice that has held communities and cultures together for ages and it fills me with great peace knowing we continue to carry the torch of thoughtful thanksgiving.
Esperanza is, and has always been, a teacher at heart. From the early age of 8 she would hold play groups in her church and tend to the young children who would often disrupt the sermons. This passion to teach carried on through the years, bringing her to SUNY New Paltz where she received her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and History. While living in New Paltz, she merged her love for the outdoors, her passion for teaching and her organizational and entrepreneurial skills into many different educational programs. She has taught in various local schools, led theater groups, kids yoga, art programs and of course worked with Wild Earth in a number of programs. Her commitment to community connection has guided her community service work in jails, juvenile centers, Americorps, inner-city art programs, soup kitchens and many more volunteer based initiatives. She sees every child's potential and knows there is no better way to hold their blossoming than through the arts and the exploration of the natural world. More about Esperanza's work.