With great-fullness I am feeling so thankful this season

I just received a thank you note and the sender personally let me know the impact my gift is making. Reading it my heart swelled a bit and warmth spread into my torso. My gift benefited others, and I benefited as well. That wasn’t a conscious intention, but that is the natural action of gifting. We receive as well. It’s the pulsation of nature and of the universe.

Appreciation giving is the life blood of any relationship in our lives. Whether you are the giver or the receiver you benefit greatly. And it’s important to your well-being and your relationships to practice both actions daily, especially at times when we’re a wee bit caught up in complaint!

I’ve been doing the Daily Gratitude Challenge I wrote about in my last newsletter. I thought it was going to be similar to actions I’ve done in the past, but the creators ask an interesting question every day on which to reflect; questions like “What do I have enough of?, Who do I know that I can never repay?, and What do I take for granted?” Responding to each one leads me to appreciation through the most interesting doorways. It’s a great way to begin or end my day. The challenge is still available and the link is below in the “I recommend” section.

Here’s some practices:

  1. Look for something to appreciate in your partner, deliver it and tell them how you benefit from it.
  2. Do the same for any children in your life. This is how children learn that they are an essential contributor to their world.
  3. Do the same for a co-worker, colleague, or even the boss. We all want to be genuinely acknowledged and to know that we make a difference.
  4. Ask yourself this wonder question: What (who) most wants and needs my appreciation today? Then move toward it and give it a wholehearted fully embodied appreciation.
  5. Be sure to include yourself!

Giving thanks to you today!

About the author

Suzanne Kilkus

Suzanne Kilkus is a Soto Zen meditation practitioner and teacher and has practiced as a therapist and counselor for over three decades. She is dedicated to assisting people in expanding their capacity for giving and receiving love, and for recognizing and expressing their basic goodness in everyday life. Her path to live with wholehearted compassion and care is an invitation to everyone. She is a teacher with Open Door Zen Community in Madison, WI.