Be A Gratitude Seeker by Rani Primmer
Gratitude makes a lot of sense going into the Thanksgiving month. Right!?! November arrives and almost routinely many of us start to consider what we are thankful for. We might possibly create a month of practice around gratitude. We may even make public announcements about it… post it on Facebook; write it on the kitchen whiteboard. If we have kids, we probably create activities around it to encourage our children to consider ‘thankfulness’ at a pronounced and discernible level. These gratitude-seeking engagements are unquestionably beautiful things! They are thought provoking, loving, and authentic soulful moments. Gratitude can pour much needed love and perspective into momentarily open hearts until those hearts are so overflowing that they can’t possibly close back up. They see with renewed vision and the doors of hope open.
I loved (and miss) our Thanksgiving gratitude-seeking family tradition of writing what we were thankful for on construction paper feather cutouts, mixing them up in a bowl, taking one and reading it aloud and guessing who in our once large clan, authored it. After many tears as well as laughs, we’d place the feathers in a whimsical wooden turkey stand to create a fan of colorful gratitude reflections. It was a much-needed annual love fest that brought us into the same circle of existence for a few hours before we disbanded back to our separate lives. But what if we were Gratitude Seekers on a daily basis, not just for the month of November?
As I created this Gratitude Seeker art doodle, I pondered what it truly means to be a Gratitude Seeker. In the past, my gratitude seeking has been sporadic at best… the annual turkey day thing or a short lived New Year’s resolution of daily gratitude practice. But as of late, my heart is calling for me to seek gratitude more often… daily, sometimes multiple times in a day.
So, my gratitude list began. Of course, I immediately wrote down the obvious: family, friends, health, shelter, food, jobs…coffee! and then….and then? …and then I went blank. It was at that moment that I realized that a true Gratitude Seeker’s journey is an in-depth exploration into the details of the present moment. A Gratitude Seeker must do just that…SEEK…seek out the not-so-obvious…the taken-for-granted…the undervalued…the positive in the negative. She must envision what it would be like to stand in the shoes, or lack thereof, of another and consider those things that she is grateful not to carry in her own life. The Gratitude Seeker must consider what it would be like to lose certain things in her life so she can see the value of the existence of those things. She seeks out beauty in the quirks and peculiarities of her surroundings and her peeps. In times of perceived lack or looming darkness, the Gratitude Seeker sends a periscope up out of the heaviness, armed with the determination to hunt for the light of gratitude despite her dilemma. She reframes challenges as learning opportunities and faces them with unflinching bravery, courage and hell yes, thankfulness for the growth experience. She does this every single day! It’s not a phase or a short-lived exercise. It is her life style.
Gratitude provides the gift of perspective. So, when things are feeling not so good, the Gratitude Seeker seeks out gratitude to lessen the weight of those feelings and to help her see the beauty that surrounds her. When things are feeling great, she seeks out gratitude to acknowledge the gifts she’s been given and hold a space for them in her heart.
As a Gratitude Seeker, I see things I could not see before and it has brought a sense of joy and light into my space. It has allowed me to leave behind things that no longer serve me: feelings of lack, anger, disappointment, anxiety, sadness and the need for perfection.
Are you a Gratitude Seeker? What does Gratitude Seeking do for you?