October | Gratitude

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” ~Anthony Robbins

I walk with gratitude, each step an appreciation of the earth, whatever the weather is and whomever is accompanying me — most usually Max-dog on our way up to the garden. My thoughts fill in appreciation of the people in my life, the people I love and who love me. And, the bounty that is this time of year in our garden and on the farm — each day harvesting something to be thankful for, process, or preserve for the winter to come.

Gratitude is an emotion that reflects our deep appreciation for what we value, what brings meaning to our lives, and what makes us feel connected to ourselves and others.” ~Brene Brown, Atlas of the Heart

Gratitude and appreciation may feel like something we just say when something happens — thank you for buying me this gift, thank you for thinking of me, thank you for … is the start of the phrase that often comes to mind when we contemplate gratitude. However, the best researcher on this emotion (Robert Emmons) suggests that gratitude is a practice. For me, it’s a daily practice that connects me to those I love and like. Connection is a core value of mine. As I walk our well-worn path on the farm, each footstep in gratitude connects me to my value of beauty and nature.

As much as I ground in my practice, life can feel like a paradox at times — we are good, we have what we need, we feel stable and secure, but all around us, colleagues both close or far away may not feel the same. “I’m worried for my family and friends in England,” “I’m worried people aren’t waking up to what’s in front of us,” “I’m worried…” That is always here, but still as I type I feel immense gratitude for you — this community that cares about how you show up in the world, about the words and actions that have an impact and how we can ensure our intention matches the outcome. It’s a practice. We are all in practice that starts with asking questions.

“How can I act with greater grace?” a former client and now friend asked in a catch up call. What a beautiful sentiment and intention — what is it to act with greater grace? What becomes available from this perspective.

Each of us in practice to what we hope to be, facing the reality of where we are. With gratitude comes the grace to discern what is next

“How can I take better care?” Better care of myself and those around me, a colleague asks. I offer my practices, what I do to take better care to be gracious. It starts with daily appreciation from the small to the big. Appreciate what is here, appreciation as a daily practice ensures your resilience for what is to come. Awareness of appreciation ensures your actions better match your intention. Reflection in appreciation ensures we learn about ourselves and those we care about and work with so that we can all do better with each other.

Journal Prompts

What can you appreciate right now?

What might an appreciation practice look like to you?

What’s On Repeat

Songs we can’t get enough of

Note: I wrote this post on September 30. Between then and now my beloved dog Max passed away. Re-reading the start of this newsletter sings deeply within my soul the gratitude I felt for him every day. I wrote a tributary post on October 4th, the day of his death, that you can read below.

We walk between the shadows and the light

Depending on the time of morning, Max-dog and I make our way around the ridge on the eastern side of the pond, we will be in shadow. The sun not yet high enough to alight our path. Instead it welcomes us to the other side.

Sunshine abounds on the western ridge and lights up the fall colours of orange, red, green, yellow, and the flickering of these as the wind moves the leaves into the dance of light and shadow.

The light is a reminder of the gift of impermanence.

Each day I have been grateful for our footsteps, our walk on the path — Max-dog pulling to catch a scent or playing the game of pretending to be off on an adventure only to run back to us when we got to the south edge of the pond and onto the path home.

Today is Max-dog’s last day of breath in this world. He has been a great companion and I am grateful to have known him.

Today’s edition of the L@S Newsletter was written by Michal Berman. Mic is a certified coach, founder of L@S, and a former executive at companies like FreshBooks, FundThrough, and Mozilla Firefox.

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