21 Days of Gratitude with Author Andrés Edwards

by: EJ on 10/26/2015
Posted in: Guest Posts

Today's post comes to us from Andrés Edwards, author of the newly released The Heart of Sustainability: Restoring Ecological Balance from the Inside Out. Andrés invites us to join him in a 21-Day Challenge to practise more gratitude in our lives starting November 3rd and finishing just before American Thanksgiving. Small consistent actions performed over 21 days can create a significant impact in our personal lives. When these actions are performed by groups of people the impact ripples out even further. Tap your creativity and devise ingenious ways of showing your gratitude and sharing it with others. The 21-Day Challenge is hosted by KindSpring, a website run by volunteers whose goal is to transform the world through works of generousity, gratitude and trust.


As American Thanksgiving approaches, our thoughts turn to gratitude. What is gratitude and how do we integrate it into our lives? Cultural anthropologist and author Angeles Arrien defined gratitude as “the recognition of the unearned increments of value in one’s experience.” She also said, “the expression of gratitude continues to be the glue that consistently holds society and relationships together; its opposite — ingratitude — contributes to societal dissolution and separation. The expression of gratitude is essential to humankind’s sustainability and survival.”

Many years ago I participated in a yearlong training with Arrien in which we explored traditional cultural values and how they show up in modern life. Some of our group discussions centered on reflecting on what we are grateful for and how in our fast-paced lives it’s easy to forget about being grateful. Thanksgiving is a time to take a moment, pause and feel our gratitude. It’s an opportunity to look within and identify what we are thankful for: health, family, friends, career, relationship all come to mind quite readily. However, it could be the more important question is how to tap into what we’re grateful for on a daily basis and incorporate it into our daily lives. How do we express our gratitude?

KindSpring, a volunteer non-profit group focused on “changing the world with generosity, gratitude and trust” promotes gratitude through its the 21-Day Gratitude Challenge. Participants are encouraged to engage in a small act of gratitude. Each day for three weeks KindSpring sends out an idea as a prompt to participants who are invited to share their act and reflect on their experience. The acts are designed to take less than five minutes so that they easily fit into one’s daily schedule. They may include: leaving a love note for your partner; calling a mentor to say thank you; putting a flower in a neighbor’s paper; gifting a book with a nice note; or writing a thank you note to a server at a café. These types of simple acts help to form what Arrien describes as “the glue that consistently holds society and relationships together.”


Photo credit: icoNYca

This Thanksgiving let’s make “gratitude glue” along with the turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. If you’re moved by a Gratitude challenge, “like” this post and sign up for the Gratitude Glue challenge that I’ll be hosting and describe  what action you’re committed to doing; then share this post on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. In this way we’ll be part of a gratitude movement that will spread beyond our imagination.



Find out more about Andrés Edwards on his website. www.andresedwards.com









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