Anyway, we are looking for some gratitude rustlers. We know the gratitude robbers...comparison, jealousy, selfishness, wantiness, hate, pride. This is an ugly list, but I've got every one of them...and I don't want them. So, I'd better get to work.
I want to be grateful for the land and all it offers...the food it offers on my table day after day...and beauty in the form of rolling hills, majestic mountains and crashing waves...but also humble branches that bend in the breeze, shade from the sun, and offer the most glorious color schemes. Here are some of the ways that I'm thinking we can seek gratitude for the land:
-make meals with whole foods + savor the flavors of the season
-take a walk in newly bracing temperatures, with the colors fluttering above and crunching below...maybe with a camera that encourages notice
-take a wandering drive in a place where countryside stretches + food grows/has grown
-be grateful to the withered tomato branches that I pull from my garden for all they have given us + for the plants they will fertilize in the seasons to come
-fill the bird feeder + watch (+ listen) for visitors
-visit the farmer's market to support local growers, this might be the last chance of the season for us in the northern hemisphere
-choose organic for the land + the farmers
-get composting, either in your own space or by taking it to a compost location
-prepare nourishing, warm meals this week for the tribe that lives under my roof with a smile on my face
-savor every conversation...without a screen in between us
-notice the laughter that lingers while watching new episodes of our favorite show
-revel in each warm hug from my girls and in the closeness of my husband
-make phone calls and send words of encouragement + thanks to those further away
-be conscious of giving a smile + gratitude to those who make the places I go function...stores, library, school...
-donate a bit at the grocery checkout for a meal for someone who could use a little help feeding their children right now
-set up a time or two to volunteer at a food bank in January or February when they'll need the help more than now
I want to be grateful for what I have. The gratitude rustlers in this category are endless, so here are just a few.
-always smile when sinking into that cozy bed, grateful for the soft mattress and pillows, grateful for the warmth that develops slowly under the weight of that comforter
-be grateful for every inch of home when vacuuming the floors
-look in the mirror each morning satisfied that to have warm clothes to wear
-take the time to tweak a piece of clothing in the closet that isn't quite right...avoid buying a new one
-choose an item or two from the closet or elsewhere to bring to a shelter...blankets, towels, coats, hats, mittens, boots, work wear are often welcome...look at the shelter's "wish-list"
-donate a bit extra with the gas bill for someone who could use a little help staying warm this winter
-read a book instead of reading email
-drink tap water + donate a bit to a clean water charity
-take a shorter shower + think of the impact water shortages have on others
-wear those jeans a few more times before washing + think about the impact water pollution has on others
-visit a friend instead of the mall
-fold laundry with gratitude for each piece...or keep the donation box close + make a commitment to less
-reorganize the garage...Craigslist + free cycle as needed...others can put your "what-ifs" to use right now (before they rust)
This actually sounds like a whole lot of fun! Happy Thanksgiving week, my friends! Wishing you a heart full of gratitude!