Expressing gratitude is a simple action. Really, it’s just the acknowledgement of a contribution. But like so many small and simple deeds, saying “Thank you” can have an enormous impact, both within and without.
For me, feeling grateful is about noticing. There can be millions of things given to me over the course of a day that I may not actually see. I may only notice when something seems to go wrong. If I can open my eyes and really take in the help that I’m receiving, however, the welling up of gratitude is almost involuntary. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to be pulled into this joyful place of gratitude and sometimes it takes the practice of giving thanks (like before a meal) for us to be able to connect with all that we have. However I get there, when I am in this awareness, I feel instantly connected to my surroundings in a positive way.
There can be millions of things given to me over the course of a day that I may not actually see. I may only notice when something seems to go wrong. If I can open my eyes and really take in the help that I’m receiving, however, the welling up of gratitude is almost involuntary.
Gratitude often becomes the key feeling that saves me from a negative outlook. There is a conscious choice to be made, then, to find things to be grateful for even when it’s hard to do. There is also the choice of speaking gratitude aloud to others who can receive it so that connections are truly forged. Feeling gratitude helps to highlight what’s import to me and why. Giving it helps connect me directly to the wealth that always surrounds.
As human beings we are all prone to sadness, greed, anger, etc. We are also prone to feelings of generosity, empathy and love. It can take a lot just to pay attention and get involved with our own emotions, but if we do that, with gratitude, we can begin to move towards openness, acceptance and resiliency within our daily lives.
As a child growing up in NY's Catskill Mountains, Anna spent much of her free time looking for newts in the neighbor's pond, building homes for woodland creatures out of rocks, and gardening with her parents. When indoors, she was usually drawing, painting or collaging. Anna is a published illustrator, having worked with her father, Fred Burstein, on his book 'If It Snowed Forever.' Fostering nature connection with Wild Earth has been a dream role. Anna has been a pioneer instructor at Wild Earth Art Camp. More about Anna's work.