Peter's Blog

Cultivating Gratitude

Written by Peter Johnston on .

In this week's discussion evening we were thinking about other practical ways of developing our own sense of gratitude. Here is another series of ideas that can be used to cultivate gratitude. This list is proposed by Mary Jo Leddy (in a book called "Radical Gratitude) as ten "habits of being that can help us live with spirit in a dispirited time and place."

This is not a list that you need to complete, it is a more a bowl of ideas from which you pick the one(s) that will work for you.

  1. Begin before you are ready. “Beginning steps in gratitude so not have to be great or grand. They need only to be real.”
  2. Practice gratitude in prayers, reflections, chants, and meditations.
  3. Gather with “like-spirited” people. Find or start a group committed to practicing gratefulness as a way of life.
  4. Live more simply. Let go of material things that burden you.
  5. Look for examples of grateful people in your life and from history learn from them.
  6. Think with your heart. Trust your feelings of gratefulness and your longings for a better way of life.
  7. See differently. Develop “soft eyes.”
  8. Be connected to a longer wisdom tradition, one that helps you understand the spiritual insights of the past.
  9. Find a beloved community, a neighbourhood, a town, a place of worship, and be part of it, really part of it.
  10. “Contemplate the face of the world.” Gratitude empowers us to stare at reality and overcome what is challenging, violent, and evil.