Deborah Spector

My continuing journey
Celebrating My Gratitude

Celebrating My Gratitude

My gratitude comes from a very deep place. I was in recovery after a difficult surgery, saw my surgeon, and fell back asleep knowing I was still alive!

I quickly decided that anything I encountered from that point on was just a challenge, knowing the outcomes could have been much worse. I began expressing my gratitude to everyone who helped on my journey as I went from recovery to rehab to slowly re-entering my life.

The changes were subtle yet for me profound. I was starting to tame my anxiety. I was afraid of every cough and sneeze. An upcoming CAT Scan unnerved me no matter what I did. When I had an off day on my rehab or couldn’t go outside because of the weather I fretted. One day I noticed that the fear was dulled.

Imagine my delight when I learned that there was an annual World Gratitude Day!

World Gratitude Day is celebrated annually on September 21st. It’s an opportunity for individuals and organizations to celebrate gratitude in myriad ways.

World Gratitude Day was created in 1965 at the East-West Center in Hawaii at a Thanksgiving Dinner honoring grantees. Sri Chinmay, an Indian spiritual leader was the host. As director of the United Nations Mediation Group, he proposed the idea as a globally unifying holiday.

I delved into all I could find about gratitude. At the same time I realized I was waking up with a newfound sense of awe about each day. I would join my dogs Kiwi and Keno on the deck, look up and thank the universe for another beautiful day.

This isn’t to say that it was a panacea, or that this all happened at once. I started calling or writing people that I had hurt. Whether or not they accepted the apologies didn’t matter. I discovered an understanding from some who joined me on my road to recovery – and beyond.

 

Benefits of Gratitude

The Greater Good Science Center  describes some of the benefits of gratitude practices.

For individuals

  • Increased happiness
  • Having more positive outlook and moods
  • Being less materialistic
  • Less likely to experience burnout
  • Better physical and mental health
  • Better sleep
  • Lower levels of inflammation
  • Greater resiliency in the face of challenges
  • Increasing patience, humility and wisdom

 

For groups

  • Increases in pro-social behaviors
  • Strengthens relationships
  • May effect employee effectiveness and job satisfaction

My current practice is organic. It grows as I explore the realms of gratitude.

I am very grateful that you’re part of my journey. Any comments or suggestions are appreciated,

Deborah