We’re entering a time of year where gratitude is on our minds. And, honestly, it’s also been a year, even a season, where being thankful, noticing what’s wondrous or good, or even just not bad, well it’s not always the easiest thing.
And, yet, gratitude, attentiveness, and appreciation are such deeply-wired contributors to the human condition, ones that carry with them the capacity to transform nearly any experience – one of anger, one of loss, one of fear, one of anxiety, one of sadness, agitation, futility, or grief – into a moment of awakening, solace, connection and, in its highest forms, grace. There’s even powerful research on the psychological and physiological effect of gratitude and appreciation, both as a state and a willful intervention.
So, we wanted to take the occasion of this week to explore a few different takes on gratitude, appreciation, and generosity-of-spirit, drawing upon conversations I’ve had over the years with famed author and social-observer extraordinaire, Anne Lamott, writer, producer, and big thinker, Janice Kaplan, and I’m also weaving in a few thoughts from one of my books, How to Live a Good Life.
I hope you enjoy this exploration of gratitude, attentiveness, and appreciation, how it changes us, and why we might want to bring more of it into our experience of life.
You can find the audiobook Jonathan’s book at: How to Live a Good Life
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