Life challenges us every day to be a better person. The year I turned fifty-two, I decided to do something which would make a difference in my life. I wanted to make a mark on my life, and the lives of others.
I survived divorce, loss of a best friend to cancer, and overcame major obstacles in my own personal life. While survival is good, I wanted to touch the all too often abstractness found in the positive of these experiences. It was time to change the experience from internal to external and allow it to continue to change me. But how?
As emotionally draining as the events in my life were, I also found the positive in each. Divorce is never easy. Even when it is your choice. But as I journeyed through the divorce, I realized that bitterness is a dead end. I learned that the loss of a friend means that you had a friendship. And I discovered that for me, depression was a season of growth.*
I finally decided that for the next 52 weeks, one to celebrate each year of my life, I would write and mail gratitude notes. I included a stamped notecard inside each note for them to share gratitude forward. My gift to me, and my gift to them. A way to add dimension to an abstract expression.
This was more difficult than it might seem. For 20 weeks it was easy to share gratitude. I wrote to family, friends, and work colleagues. However, when we are 52 our circle of friends is smaller and thus, finding those to share gratitude with is something we have to think about. And it is these very thoughts, the thoughts of our challenges, which guide our daily life. Gratitude became the focus of my life. In the end, I did it. I sent 52 cards to 52 individuals.
Note writing is an art. Notes and letters are part of our culture, traditions, and history. We find the handwritten letters in museums, attics, and books. Yet this very art which narrates our history, is finding its way into the history books. We replaced letters with emails and thank you cards with computer generated signatures. And gratitude, is often confused with politeness.
So, this blog is about gratitude, and my experiences during this journey. When we pay homage to each moment, and those who touch us along our path, we have the chance to change the world.
All too often the moments of our lives pass with unclaimed gratitude. A weekly practice quickly gave way to a daily practice as I was always looking for people to share gratitude with. Our lives quickly blossom and so do the lives of those we touch.
Namaste my friends,