Sunday, September 09, 2007

Curious about Thankfulness/Gratitude: How Grateful Are You? Try the Gratitude Dance (Daily)

So I'm very grateful for everything that has happened in my life.” - Alice Barrett, American actress

I would find myself laughing and wondering where these ideas came from. You can call it imagination, I suppose. But I was grateful for wherever they came from.” - Amy Tan, American novelist

This week’s theme was originally sparked by my Internet friend, Susan Henderson, for whom I am grateful. She sent our Mastermind Group the link to the YouTube Gratitude Dance Video. Do take the time to watch it. It is not only fun – I found myself getting up and dancing – it made me take time out to make a list of many of the wonderful gifts I am grateful for.

So often, we and others complain about what we don’t have rather than celebrating what we have to be grateful about. The participants in the “Secret” along with many other gurus who are experiencing great success suggest that we develop the habit of gratitude and thankfulness for all the joys and positives in our lives.

The following quotation hit home with me: “My cancer scare changed my life. I'm grateful for every new, healthy day I have. It has helped me prioritize my life.” - Olivia Newton-John, British musician.

A year and a half ago, I experienced a freak accident and fractured my hip. Being a group fitness instructor, I hated being out of circulation for more than three months. Today, I am so grateful to be back teaching 13 fitness classes a week and always experience a special level of gratitude when performing jumping jacks.

I found the quotations this week to be fascinating. Many actors, actresses and musicians grateful to be working and many authors and writers happy to being read.

Here are some of my favorites:
  • Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” - Marcel Proust, French author
  • No money on earth can buy the love and affection that has been given to me by a grateful nation.” - Abdul Qadeer Khan, Pakistani scientist
  • Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.” - Henry Clay, American statesman
  • I was grateful that I had dancing to fall back on. It was my survival tactic. It was my friend. It was always there.” - Suzanne Farrell, American dancer

And, some others with a different focus:

  • Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” - John Wooden, American coach
  • Who cared if there was really any Being to pray to? What mattered was the sense of giving thanks and praise, the feeling of a humble and grateful heart.” - Oliver Sacks, American scientist.
  • I will say that since our capture we have met with uniform kindness, and while in the penitentiary our relations with the officers have been cordially pleasant, and for their considerate and kind disposition we feel profoundly grateful.” - Cole Younger, American criminal
  • Winning the Pulitzer is wonderful and it's an honor and I feel so humbled and so grateful, but I think that I'll think of it very much as the final sort of final moment for this book and put it behind me along with the rest of the book, as I write more books.” - Jhumpa Lahiri, American author

Besides doing the Gratitude Dance, think about what the following quotations mean to you:

Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn that as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart.” - Sarah Ban Breathnach, American author

My interpretation to the secret to life is don't do anything or try not to do anything that makes you feel like you deserve to lose in life. And be grateful for what you have. And protect what you've got that's beautiful too.” - Jim Carrey, Canadian comedian

Fortunately, my parents always encouraged me to be grateful that I was healthy, and stand up and be proud and carry myself with dignity.” - Susan Anton, American actress

Have fun this week! Make a list of what you are grateful for and let me know your top items.