Reflections From The 21-Day Gratitude Challenge
Posted by Guri Mehta on Nov 26, 2013
Gratitude not only allows us to tune in to all the ways that we are constantly receiving, but it also helps dissolve fear, anger, envy, and arrogance. Just as lighting a single candle chases away the darkness, gratitude and suffering cannot co-exist in our hearts at the same time.
Gratefulness calls forth on blessings in our lives, which are nurtured by the understanding that all life is inter-connected. There is an underlying energy that runs through all beings, and in moments of grace we can palpably feel that connection, that oneness. Gratefulness starts to open that door.
We wanted to explore this relationship more closely. For 21 days over 11,000 people from 118 countries took on a Gratitude Challenge on KindSpring. Every day we reflected on a question that was posed: What do you have enough of? Who do you know that you can never repay? What inconvenience are you grateful for? What’s the best advice you ever received? Who helped shape your inner compass? The reflections and stories that came out were heart-warming, like some of these:
What is the most cherished gift that you’ve ever received?
"My mom wrote me a letter on the night before I turned 18 and for years I carried it in my wallet and whenever I questioned who I was and my self-worth, I opened it and read it again. It was so worn that it had little holes where it was folded and sadly when I was in my late 20's my purse was stolen. My whole paycheck was in my purse but that was the only thing I wanted back. I still think I know most of those words. Two years ago, my teenage son wrote me a letter on my birthday telling me how much he knew I sacrificed and how he knew I worked hard to provide for them since my divorce. It's in my desk at work and I just need those words to wrap around me and comfort me at times I feel like I'm not sure I'm
doing anything right." -javacafe2017
What have you lost and learned from?
"Losing my sister to breast cancer has taught me many things. I've learned that you can't let the hustle and bustle of daily life overshadow what is most important -- family. I've learned that you should live each day as if it were your last because you are not promised tomorrow. I've learned that a smile can make a huge difference, even in the midst of a personal storm. I've learned that you shouldn't put your dreams on hold because now is the perfect time to achieve them. And I've learned that even though life doesn't always seem fair, God hasa bigger plan for us." -ekoffler
What can you say thank you for in this moment?
"In this headache-laden, stress filled moment, I am grateful that it is never too late. Never too late to grow, learn, experiment, discover, change, love. I tend towards anguish as I use various measuring sticks against myself that point out my shortcomings and what I haven't "figured out" yet. But this moment is a beginning. It is a gift. I am grateful to be alive and have the opportunity to continue this multifaceted journey of being human. I don't have to get it right - just keep going." -mayojeanette
We were deeply touched to witness so many life-affirming reflections that came from asking these questions, and amazed by the openness with which people shared. Many stories came from deep personal experiences, vulnerabilities, and the inner strength that often accompanies them. It was a growing experience for all of us to see how a mindset of gratefulness can change the lens through which we see the world and recognize its gifts.
Inspired by the Gratitude Challenge, one such gift that resulted from the 21 Day was a beautiful song, “Grateful” by musicians Nimo Patel and Daniel Nahmod. Produced in less than a week by volunteers from around the world, this soul-stirring music video pays tribute to all the small and big things to be thankful for. “Grateful” is a celebration of the spirit and a love song to the world. :-)