The Gratitude Experiment

The Gratitude / Goodie Jar Experiment, 2015 this was my invitation to you.  I hope you planted the seeds and now get to see the gifts that life has shared with you in gratitude.

Collecting Good Things in a Jar was my blog post in January 2015 at the beginning of this year and now it’s time to see what lessons, gifts and gratitude you reap.  So in December near year end I invite you to open the jar and slowly and joyfully read your notes.  If you chose a “buddy” to share the experience once you’ve taken a look and reflected on your abundance that can make it sweeter yet.  Below is the invitation and the picture of my jar.  Would love to start a conversation of your energy and good news.  Make your statements and if so inclined go to Facebook page:  fire breathing women/mujeres que respiran fuego.

Find yourself a jar or another large container, something with plenty of room in it. For some reason I feel like it should be clear, so that I can see my collection growing, but anything that you like will work. You could even re-purpose a cookie jar. This will be your Gratitude / Goodie Jar. Put a label on it that reminds you what it’s for. Mine, as you can see, is labeled “Believe.” The basic “assignment” is this: As you go about your day-to-day activities, write down things for which you are grateful, and stuff them into your jar. Then at the end of 2015 we’ll each open our jar and read all of the things we wrote! My friend asked if it’s okay to put anything good into the jar, even if it doesn’t seem to be a “gratitude” item or event. I think you should put whatever you choose into your jar. Happy accidents, unexpected meetings, random smiles, anything that makes sense to you should go into your jar.

As I purge my office, set up the “casa,” my external home, I also embellish the inner “casa” by taking inventory with gratitude. I’m hoping that you’ll share some of the contents of your Gratitude Jar with me at the end of 2015.  Here are some of mine. What am I grateful for as 2015 comes to a close:

  • Transitioning to a new place near the ocean where I really breathed and rekindled my Spirit.
  • Angst of the transition as it made me really look within and take inventory in my “back to the future” move to SF Bay Area.
  • My son’s engagement to a wonder woman, their buying a home and moving onward in their careers.
  • New and renewed quality friendships in my life.
  • A new grandpuppy-  Molly (I call her “rubia”)
  • Finding the best spin cycle instructor ever making a 5:30 a.m. class easy to get up for!
  • A return to my roots in Puerto Rico to work and play yet again.
  • A deeper midlife spirituality.
  • Semi-retirement where I do less and achieve more–more meaning.
  • Intimacy and being understood, seen, and appreciated for me just the way I am–a “novella” unto myself at times.
  • An expanding coaching practice and deeper, more challenging client work where I can bring value for mutual success.
  • Colleagues growing and thriving and expanding in collaboration.
  • Health and mindfulness.

So much more that I would put in the jar, perhaps not all  for public consumption but “goodies” nevertheless. And you, what is in your  2015 jar? What do you hope to find in your 2016 Gratitude Jar?

I recently posted a newsletter in which I made the mistake of stating ” as 2016 draws to a close…” clearly a year ahead of myself.  The good news was that it created a response swell which made me feel as good – people are reading my posts..  So to stay withing the theme of gratitude I realize  in making mistakes we learn and we share and for that I am grateful.  Several colleagues shared humorful insights and made me laugh at myself and feel my vunlerability in a gracious way.

To boot, this past Sunday at church service the topic was forgiveness and it was so well delivered it carried a message straight to my soul.  Noteworthy, while the pastor gave numbers examples of people and offenses we may struggle to forgive he never mentioned forgiving oneself.  Being the consultant, facilitator I am I almost raised my hand in the to be called upon to say, hey what about forgiving ourselves.  Of course I caught myself and instead went up to the prayer alter to contemplate and pray for the greatest forgiveness of all- to forgive myself.   Here again a learning from what I observed to be an ommission, a mistake.

So I how do you act when needing to forgive yourself, another, an error, a misgiving.  I believe this is an important characteristic of leaders.  I say it ranks highly within the emotional intelligence scale.  If I cannot forgive how can I be resilient, or open, or inclusive, and so on and so on.  Yes indeed, to err is human and to forgive is Divine.