|By Dori Midnight|
I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great pope, Self.
~ Martin Luther
Miki Kashtan’s Gratitude Practice
“So, for a couple of months now, during a period that included some of the most challenging times in many years, I end each day lying in bed, breathing fully and slowly, and reviewing my day, looking for everything that could possibly be a source of gratitude…”
- Judging people or things as “good” or “right” is not different in essence from judging them as “bad” or “wrong” – they belong to the same paradigm, and our evaluation can easily shift from “good” to “bad.” Translating our positive evaluations into NVC frees us from this paradigm and from the role of “judge.”
- When we enjoy something or are grateful, expressing what needs of ours are met can be powerful and deeply satisfying to others and to ourselves.
- By expressing our observations, feelings and needs instead of complimenting or praising, we contribute to meeting others’ needs for intrinsic motivation and for contribution.
- It is often challenging for people to receive appreciations. To support the likelihood that your appreciation will be taken in by the other person, include a connection request with your expression. You could either ask for a reflection to ensure that the person heard the appreciation without any judgment, or to hear what it was like for this person to receive your appreciation to support full connection between you.
- You can also do the exact same thing with yourself: what have you done that you are grateful for and what needs were met?
Think of something someone in your life has done which has affected your life in a way that you feel grateful for, OR, think of something someone in your life has done which you have complimented or might compliment them for. Express your gratitude or “praise” in NVC:
- What did the person do?
- How do you feel in relation to what he or she did?
- Which needs of yours were attended to by this action?
- How would you express this appreciation in your own words including a connection request?
MIKI’S NEW BOOK
Excerpt from Terry Patten blog post (on his interview with Joanna Macy): I began our dialog by expressing my appreciation for the fact that she begins with gratitude, which is, I think, the foundation of sanity. Joanna responded by saying that she used to view gratitude as somewhat sentimental or even Pollyannaish and sweet. But she’s come to realize that within our consumerist culture, gratitude is actually a politically subversive act. “Because the engine that drives late capitalism is dissatisfaction and craving…it’s a revolutionary act to be thankful for what you are and what you have in this moment.”
|Coming from Gratitude|
This process is done in pairs, according to instructions given for Open Sentences in Chapter 7 of Coming Back to Life (p. 98). Allow about 30 minutes. This is a highly pleasurable activity, and you may well want to invent your own open sentences. I usually use four from these five, and in this order:
1. Some things I love about being alive in Earth are…2. A place that was magical (or wonderful) to me as a child was….
3. A person who helped me believe in myself is or was….
4. Some things I enjoy doing and making are….
5. Some things I appreciate about myself are…
|See also: Video/Audio – Active Hope|
Notice (e.g. identify observations/emotions/values/requests-of-self-&-others), especially as a practitioner, moments when you have a sense of appreciation — whether for others or as a kind of self-acknowledgement — for the way in which your practice enriches life.
Continuing from last week’s utilization of Miki Kashtan’s Core Commitments — see if you can relate the observation you identify to an NVC principle (more can found within Kashtan’s new book, Spinning Threads of Radical Aliveness).
Knowledge of the self is the mother of all knowledge. So it is incumbent on me to know my self, to know it completely, to know its minutiae, its characteristics, its subtleties, and its very atoms. ~ Kahil Gibran
MOLLY METTLER: I would give a gift that keeps on giving: a daily reminder to practice, and record, gratitude. A simple notebook works, or an online diary, or even a modest point-and-shoot camera…anything that keeps you aware of, and looking for, the pleasures and gifts of being alive.
I keep a gratitude journal. So does my son, and we exchange our “grats” frequently. His record of gratitude trends toward books and conversations and ideas. Mine trend toward sensory pleasures, such as the vibrant color of a blue-gold autumn day, the smell of rain on sagebrush, and that first sip of hot coffee in the morning. We’ve found that the longer we keep at this – noticing and recording those things that bring us joy – the simpler, and more supple, our gratitude becomes. Plus, the written record of these gratitudes lets us re-enter the moment and savor it all over again.
There are health benefits to practicing gratitude, too. The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley has confirmed that practicing gratitude, “brings you more positive emotions, better health, stronger relationships, and greater life satisfaction.” Those are gifts aplenty.
Molly Mettler (@mollykmettler) is senior vice president of mission at Healthwise Inc., a nonprofit founded in 1975 with a mission to help people make better health decisions. She also serves as a fellow with the Center for Advancing Health and the author of books on health care, including “Healthwise for Life.”
FASHION & STYLE|CULTURAL STUDIES
The Found Art of Thank-You Notes
Depolarizing the American Mind: A Conversation with Steve McIntosh and Carter Phipps of the Institute for Cultural Evolution
Stay tuned for May’s Theme ‘Honoring Our Pain (for the World)’: