silent thunder

Gratitude Jar. Share what makes you shine.

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A couple years ago, out of a deep need to consciously acknowledge and actively foster the sources of gratitude in my life, I founded a new habit.  The three years previous, had been a systematic barrage of some of the harshest, most heart-straining, painful and sad experiences of my life and I was floundering much of the time.  I needed a way to foster the inertia of gratitude in the flow and not as some intellectual, ephemeral idea, but as a practical, tangible energetic connection... one beyond my practices of qi gong and stillness, that I could access easily and use anytime.

 

It took root when I saw someone do something beautiful, just like any other day, but instead of simply smiling and moving on... I reached out to them and acknowledged how much it meant to me, to witness this act of love.  I wanted them to know how much this simple example of wisdom had impacted another who was suffering and to know they were appreciated for it.  There is an energetic loop in this acknowledgement that has become a self sustaining process far more potent than I imagined when I started.  The jar is the home version of this... and I love it because we can go back and reread these old moments, it's especially helpful when the shit hits the fan. 

 

It's incredibly potent.

 

Any longer, it's not just people, I'm talking to everything from shrubbery, trees and breezes, to trashcans and garbage trucks these days.  It's everywhere and this simple process of spending just a bit of my energy to acknowledge it, is fostering an inertia that I did not expect.

 

Obviously the gratitude jar is an old idea, but in my home it is a physical manifestation of this amazing experience for me.  Our gratitude jar is a big mason bugger that sits on our kitchen bar, with a stack of paper and a pen next to it.  We walk past it all day long and see it constantly. 

 

Whenever we are struck by love, appreciation, or gratitude, we jot it down and drop it in...  Once in a while, we will reach in and pull a couple out, or dump them out and read them.  When the jar is full, the bits go into a box that I'll be saving and passing down to my son when I'm gone.

 

This jar has become an energetic garden in our home, a vibrant manifestation of gratitude.  Just the sight of it peripherally can bring sympathetic vibration and a shift in awareness, so I figured I'd start a digital one here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So here's a few off the top of my head:

 

Whenever my son belly laughs... I glow with gratitude and love.

 

I deeply love the stillness of the last couple of hours before dawn... walking barefoot in the grass at this time of day is pure bliss.

 

My teachers... the shear number of them is staggering when I put my mind to it... not just the people, but the places, the animals and insects.  It's stunning.

 

simple evenings at home...

 

I love to sit nearby and watch my wife and son while they sleep...

 

cracking a few beers, smoking a fatty and having hours long conversations with old trusted friends...

 

preparing food for people I love...

 

the practices of qi gong and stillness that have been shared with me... and this place...  a place to read and share when in my day to day life, discussions of energetic processes are met with :blink:...

 

Waves... Ocean Waves... I love them as much as I love Thunderstorms!

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gratitude for the note on the jar. it reminds me to continue to do the same sort of idea in my life.

 

I seriously get angry at people related to my job and it takes a hold of me for sometime.....

 

I feel shine the most in my parent life...most proud of my son and the accomplishments of the entire marching band--

the pristine uniform. precise steps, the sound of the music so beautiful....

 

my nephew asked to pray with me tonight. he shared with me his thoughts on jesus and he is so kind....

I went through sadness and then blank.....but over all sharing with him was what we both feel comfortable doing...

we are not close but we talk together on serious level....

 

I find hearts almost everyday in nature.they are just there in sight..today on a plant leaf   the tracks of a bug maybe or a snail...ate the shape of heart out.

 

I too am greatful for lots of people and teachers along the way.

from a man named bob I worked with years ago who smelled like alcohol so bad he had to eat an onion before work.

he taught me how to caulk wood trim to perfection....thought of him today at work.

even though I do not see eye to eye with other teachers in life-I have my version of love for them.

 

clouds because they change they are beautiful from my eyes. I can be troubled and its ok when I look to them

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A couple years ago, out of a deep need to consciously acknowledge and actively foster the sources of gratitude in my life, I founded a new habit.  The three years previous, had been a systematic barrage of some of the harshest, most heart-straining, painful and sad experiences of my life and I was floundering much of the time.  I needed a way to foster the inertia of gratitude in the flow and not as some intellectual, ephemeral idea, but as a practical, tangible energetic connection... one beyond my practices of qi gong and stillness, that I could access easily and use anytime.

 

It took root when I saw someone do something beautiful, just like any other day, but instead of simply smiling and moving on... I reached out to them and acknowledged how much it meant to me, to witness this act of love.  I wanted them to know how much this simple example of wisdom had impacted another who was suffering and to know they were appreciated for it.  There is an energetic loop in this acknowledgement that has become a self sustaining process far more potent than I imagined when I started.  The jar is the home version of this... and I love it because we can go back and reread these old moments, it's especially helpful when the shit hits the fan. 

 

It's incredibly potent.

 

Any longer, it's not just people, I'm talking to everything from shrubbery, trees and breezes, to trashcans and garbage trucks these days.  It's everywhere and this simple process of spending just a bit of my energy to acknowledge it, is fostering an inertia that I did not expect.

 

Obviously the gratitude jar is an old idea, but in my home it is a physical manifestation of this amazing experience for me.  Our gratitude jar is a big mason bugger that sits on our kitchen bar, with a stack of paper and a pen next to it.  We walk past it all day long and see it constantly. 

 

Whenever we are struck by love, appreciation, or gratitude, we jot it down and drop it in...  Once in a while, we will reach in and pull a couple out, or dump them out and read them.  When the jar is full, the bits go into a box that I'll be saving and passing down to my son when I'm gone.

 

This jar has become an energetic garden in our home, a vibrant manifestation of gratitude.  Just the sight of it peripherally can bring sympathetic vibration and a shift in awareness, so I figured I'd start a digital one here.

 

thank you Silent thunder, this is so good!

 

reminds me of a more mundane version.

 

A womanfriend of mine introduced the following practice in her household when her son ( 11 at the time, a special needs kid that was at the time so depressed that he was seriously suicidal)

 

Before the evening-meal started everybody at the table had to tell three things that were good in the daytime.

 

when you had a real shitty day it could be something like "I came home from school soaking wet but my underpants were still dry" It was far more effective than the obligatory prayer  ;)

 

I'm inspired by your post!  :wub:

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I'm sitting at my dining room table, which borders our living room.  It's got a long bench seat on one side that I'm sitting at the end of and next to me, my little gal Maya is curled up and softly purring.  My son and his closest friend Georg (whose family comes from Macedonia) are rolling around on two giant yoga balls in the room next to me, crashing into each other and laughing hysterically when they manage to knock each other over...

 

In my mind's eye, I see my wife, seated in the chair as she gets her hair trimmed.  Knowing she's having another amazing conversation with the friend who does her hair. 

 

Is there anything more beautiful, than a simple, 'ordinary' moment? 

 

and then raucous laughter by me, interrupts the boys as I think... 'hahaha ordinary!  what a notion!... lolz... ordinary...

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It's been reinforced so potently of late, with so many I love passing over...  will be attending my third funeral of the year, next Friday and each time I come together with others, in memory and love of another, this point is driven home, which has become one of the driving forces behind my intention to reach out more and establish meaningful connections everywhere in life.

 

Grief decreases when we share it... and Love increases.

Share it, be open.  Express it.  Don't just think it and move on, react, acknowledge, engage... connect.  Be. 

Breathe it.

 

So many times, the simplest thing said by a passing stranger has been just what I needed to hear... has felt like a life saver in a storm...

 

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I was a bartender in the West Village NYC back in the 90's. 

 

One of my regular customers carried a wisdom and simplicity that imbued in him, even when I was talking to him in person, not just memory, as something other-worldly.  He seemed and appeared human, but his energy, his manner and bearing, the tone of his voice, the words chosen and the timing of his words, stories and ideas.. they always seemed to drop into me like large stones in a small pond and his presence always brought out in me another level of awareness, no matter what drinks I was pouring, or what our conversation.  He had a way of bringing depth to a simple gesture.

 

Earl the Pearl is the name he gave me.  He was an elderly man then, in his 80's deep dark ebony skin and eyes that veritably shown with vivacious energy and mischievous charm. 

 

He sat down at my bar with a big sigh and asked for a glass of water.  I brought it to him and when I sat it before him, he pointed to it and asked me "what is that?"

 

I didn't just blurt out the obvious answer, because as I said, he had the presence that immediately drew me to into presence and into another level of depth to the simplest of interactions... and so I thought for a moment and said simply  "that is Life."

 

His entire being lit up and he laughed, throwing up his arms!  He beamed a mostly toothless smile to me and became my instant friend and mentor.  He shared with me how he worked the streets for tips, but was not homeless.  Nor did he beg, he shared stories with folks and they tipped him in return. 

 

He had a small apartment not far from my bar.  He used to teach Ancient History at a University, but woke up one day and walked away from that sleeping life and into the life he continued to lead when I met him, years later.

 

He would routinely come to the bar during my slow afternoon shifts and I'd share whatever I was tripping on at the time... and he would drop these little tests and koans, puzzles and incredibly odd statements, always after getting me off my guard, (after a time, I tried to always be ready for him), that would inevitably wake me up again like stones dropped into my awareness...

 

That man, and those conversations had as much impact on me, as my college degrees.

 

So to you Earl the Pearl.  Gratitude.  And... i've got a few more choice jokes for you when we next meet.

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So many times, the simplest thing said by a passing stranger has been just what I needed to hear... has felt like a life saver in a storm...

 

 

i am reminded of this short TEDx video by Drew Dudley.

 

 

again, very grateful for the thread. this is a topic i have been working to reinforce in my life as well. very inspired by the wisdom of your words. thank you. :)

Edited by Rishi Das
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