is the thing we are told over and over will help us to be the person we want to be. All sorts of studies have confirmed that the practice of being aware of being grateful for specific people, events, things will make us healthier and happier. It is one thing to have experiences that touch you, make you happy, are beautiful – but somehow imprinting those experiences by naming them, makes them even more powerful. We are forced to see that we do indeed have a rich and fulfilling life – on any ordinary day.
Two friends and I have started a practice of e-mailing each other every evening with three gratitudes from the day. It is lovely to share this practice with friends – and it does serve also to keep us on track. If one of us “forgets”, the others remember. Lately we have tried to focus on three “gifts” that we were given during the day – experiences, brief moments of ordinariness etc. This simple act of naming the blessings in our life matters. I even think that possibly this openness to being grateful creates a door for more goodness to come to us. It deepens our sense of presence to the world. It calls us to pay attention. And, it connects us to each other. It is the job of each of us to hold the small shining moments up to the light so we see all their glory. Praising the world is a good habit! And once a year, on Thanksgiving, it is even made into a cultural expectation!!
Praise What Comes - by Jeanne Lohman
surprising as unplanned kisses, all you haven’t deserved
of days and solitude, your body’s immoderate good health
that lets you work in many kinds of weather. Praise
talk with just about anyone. And quiet intervals, books
that are your food and your hunger, nightfall and walks
before sleep. Praising these for practice, perhaps
you will come at last to praise grief and the wrongs
you never intended. At the end there may be no answers
and only a few very simple questions: did I love,
finish my task in the world? Learn at least one
of the many names of God? At the intersections,
the boundaries where one life began and another
ended, the jumping-off places between fear and
possibility, at the ragged edges of pain,
did I catch the smallest glimpse of the holy?