A Holiday Ritual to Spread Gratitude Far and Wide — Calm Blog
Acknowledging the support and joy that someone brings into our lives is always within our means to give. It costs nothing and can mean everything.
For many of us, 2020 has been an emotional rollercoaster, and continues to be, as we face not getting to visit with loved ones this holiday season. When we can’t hug our nearest and dearest, it’s important to forge new pathways of connection. One way to deepen and nourish our relationships is by sharing our appreciation. Giving thanks to another person brings joy to the person receiving gratitude and the person offering it. It’s good for everyone!
Here’s a ritual you can use to get the gratitude flowing. Feel free to personalize this practice in whatever way works best for you.
1 | Take a moment for reflection
Close your eyes and ask yourself who has supported you and brought joy into your life this year. When someone comes to mind, soak in the feeling of thankfulness for a few deep breaths.
2 | Write a note to this person expressing your appreciation
You can write free form or use the following structure. Take your time; this is an opportunity to give the gift of truly seeing another. Often what we admire in another seems obvious to us, but isn’t always understood as valuable or seen clearly by the person we see it in.
I admire the way you _______________________________.
I’m grateful for the time you _______________________________.
I wish you
Thanks for being you!
3 | Schedule time to read your note out loud
You can follow up with the written message by text, email, or even snail mail so they can come back to your words, but if you can read it out loud first, most find it to be a moving experience. In the case that the person you want to offer appreciation to has passed away, you might light a candle next to their picture and read your words.
4 | Repeat for as many different people in your life as inspires you
Perhaps you take a Saturday to work on these letters or maybe you make it a daily practice for a week.
Bonus: Write a gratitude letter to yourself
Don’t forget to read it out loud.