How about a gratitude buddy?

Last fall, when life seemed to be deep in pressures of all kind and I seemed to be lost in others suffering, I reached out to a dear friend to inquire about being a gratitude buddy?  We have known each other through studying spiritual disciplines together over the years, share a common thread of our work and raising children about the same age.  I said, ‘what the heck’ she can say no.  But that is not what turned out to be the case.  This daily practice of sending an email to one another to say just what we are grateful for and about has proven to be a bedrock practice that reminds both of us to see to good in our lives and that of others.

It really is simple, I heard the suggestion on a pod cast of one of my favorite Buddhist teachers, Tara Brach and it hit home or my heart.  It is rather simple, just say yes to someone, write as often as you can (cuz life happens).  It takes about five minutes really, just say one or two things that you are grateful about, even if it seems like nothing…find one little thing.  And send it off!

Here is a favorite poem of mine that I believe inspired me to just keep going, to find just one thing, one good thing, one thing to be grateful about, to say ‘Thank you’ and mean it!

Arms Full of Wildflowers

Gratitude means showing up on life’s doorstep,

love’s threshold, dressed in a clown suit,

rubber-nosed, gunboat shoes flapping.

Gratitude shows up with arms full of wildflowers,

reciting McKuen or the worst of Neruda.

To talk of gratitude is to be

the fool in a cynic’s world.

Gratitude is pride’s nightmare,

the admission of humility before something

given without expectation or attachment.

Gratitude tears open the shirt

of self importance, scatters buttons

across the polished floors of feigned indifference,

ignores the obvious and laughs out loud.

Even more, gratitude bares her breasts, rips open

her ribs to show the naked heart, the holy heart.

What if that sacred heart is not, after all, about sacrifice?

Imagine it is about joy, barefoot and foolhardy,

something unasked for, something unearned.

What if the beat we hear, when we are finally quiet

is simply this:

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

– Rebecca del Rio


8 comments on “How about a gratitude buddy?

  1. drhappiness says:

    Hey Lizbeth! I love your take on gratitude and I agree that having other people to share your gratitude practice with helps a lot! Have you heard of the social gratitude journal Happier?It has a lovely community and we post daily about what we are grateful for. It is in line with your post!

  2. I think I went to your blog site and am now following you! What fun…feel free to reblog anything of mine, just make sure you give me authorship! Blessings from N. California!

  3. 50djohnson says:

    I’ve been in the valley of sorrow and pain for nearly 4 years now. I’m just now coming out on the other side unless some unforeseen happening occurs, again. It was one day at a time , daily gratitude that kept me afloat. Since I started my blog 14 days ago, renewing my passion for writing has sent my soar soaring for the first time in a long time. swing by to visit sometime! You just might be blessed! 😛

    • Thank you for stopping by and being transparent with you sorrow and pain. Gratitude for me, although no instant relief, lifts my head and sends my eyes at least forward to see another. With this, I know, although I am not always available, I do feel that I am in the land of the living with those around me.

      • 50djohnson says:

        It’s a long story but 6 of my family members,& my best friend, all died within 9 months of each other, and I’ve had three major unexpected surgeries, the last of which I am just now recovering. God brought a old friend back into my life and we have become prayer partners and gratitude buddies. My new blog is a wonderful outlet to express sorrow, grief, gratitude and praise! I would love for you to swing by and give me some feedback. It would be very encouraging. God bless

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