Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Better Lives

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Practicing gratitude calls us to better lives, and a better world.

And begin before you are ready. Even when a million reasons to not feel grateful stand in your way. That is when gratitude is at its best. It took me one hundred days to understand this. My husband observed, “You know, gratitude saved your life in the midst of all the chaos.” He was right. Gratitude became both my refuge and my rallying cry. It made a huge difference. Trust me.

— Diana Butler Bass, Gratitude, p. 193

Photo: Assateague Island, October 24, 2016

Empowered by Gratitude

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

Gratitude empowers us. It makes joy and love possible. It rearranges the way we see and experience what is all around us. Gratitude makes all things new. It transforms how we understand what is broken and gives us the ability to act more joyfully and with hope. That is why gratitude is central to all the world’s religions. As a practice, it embodies the wisdom of humanity’s greatest spiritual teachers: the love of neighbor. Gratitude takes us from abstract belief to living compassion in the world. Gratitude is strongest, clearest, most robust, and radical when things are really hard. Really hard. All-is-lost hard.

— Diana Butler Bass, Gratitude, p. 186-187

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, January 29, 2016

The Defiance of Gratitude

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Gratitude is defiance of sorts, the defiance of kindness in the face of anger, of connection in the face of division, and of hope in the face of fear. Gratefulness does not acquiesce to evil — it resists evil. That resistance is not that of force or direct confrontation. Gratitude undoes evil by tunneling under its foundations of anger, resentment, and greed. Thus, gratitude strengthens our character and moral resolve, giving each of us the possibility of living peaceably and justly. It untwists knotted hearts, waking us to a new sense of who we are as individuals and in community. Being thankful is the very essence of what it means to be alive, and to know that life abundantly.

— Diana Butler Bass, Gratitude, p. 185-186

And I couldn’t stand doing just one photo. Both photos: South Riding, Virginia, November 2, 2018

At All Times

Monday, October 15th, 2018

Not only should we give thanks in all things; we can give thanks at all times. With practice and with ever widening awareness, we see that gratitude frames our days. This day. This hour. Right now.

— Diana Butler Bass, Gratitude, p. 81

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 13, 2018

Gratitude and Love

Monday, October 8th, 2018

Today, look at who it is you love. What are you really enjoying in your love for them? Allow yourselves to feel your natural gratitude toward this person or situation. Gratitude allows you even stronger resonance with the very gift you are experiencing. Your gratitude not only opens the door to love, it increases love.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 327

Photo: Skyline Drive, Virginia, October 1999

Starting with Gratitude

Monday, October 1st, 2018

Gratitude sets the intention for the day, reminding us to notice blessings and gifts as we move through the hours ahead.

— Diana Butler Bass, Gratitude, p. 78

[Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 15, 2015]

Morning Gratitude

Thursday, September 6th, 2018


In a very real way, morning gratitude is a primary form of mindfulness, a practice of paying attention to abundance and life.

— Diana Butler Bass, Gratitude, p. 76

[Photo: Sunrise, South Riding, Virginia, March 16, 2015]

Gratitude as Practice

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

Practice takes time. A well-known rule of practice says that to become an expert at something, you need to devote ten thousand hours to doing it. Gratitude is not a practice that can be counted in hours. Instead, it invites us to engage the longer arc of time. In order for it to become a habit, it asks that we attend to seeing time more fully: engaging the past more graciously, living more appreciatively now, and building thanks into the foundation of our future. Attending to our lives with hindsight, wide sight, and foresight moves gratefulness from emotion to ethic. Thus, gratitude may feel good — and those good feelings do good things for us — but as an ethical disposition, gratitude is a strong basis for creating a good life. The habit of gratefulness helps us thrive. It not only takes time, but it can change the way we experience the times of our lives.

— Diana Butler Bass, Gratitude, p. 70

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, August 15, 2013

The Value of Appreciation

Saturday, August 11th, 2018

The ultimate issue isn’t whether people deserve your negative thoughts; certainly many people do. The more important point is that they are your thoughts in your head, and you want them to be as beneficial to you as possible.

It’s impossible to appreciate and feel devalued at the same time.

— Steven Stosny, Living and Loving After Betrayal, p. 67

[Photo: Assateague Island, October 24, 2016]

Gratitude as Habit

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Gratitude is not only the emotional response to random experiences, but even in the darkest times of life, gratitude waits to be seen, recognized, and acted upon more thoughtfully and with a sense of purpose. Gratitude is a feeling, but it is also more than that. And it is much more than a spiritual technique to achieve peace of mind or prosperity. Gratitude is a habit of awareness that reshapes our self-understanding and the moral choices we make in the world. In short, gratitude is an ethic, a coherent set of principles and practices related to grace, gifts, and giving that can guide our lives.

— Diana Butler Bass, Gratitude, p. 60

[Photo: Silver Falls, Oregon, October 7, 2017]