I’m incredibly grateful. Not only the part of the globe we live on—the Pacific Northwest in the United States—but for our specific town, Boise, Idaho. It’s quite possibly one of the friendliest places on earth.
The words “gratitude” and “grace” share a common origin: the Latin word gratus, meaning “pleasing” or “thankful.” The Association for Humanistic Psychology defines gratitude as “Orientation towards noticing and appreciating the positive in the world.”
University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons’ research revealed that grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that literally boosts the immune system—a clear PHYSICAL benefit.
Dr. Alex Wood, a postgraduate researcher in the Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, said that “Gratitude is an integral part of well-being”—a distinct benefit to our MENTAL and EMOTIONAL faculties.
Gratitude helps to open the heart, the seat of compassion. It helps us to see the good in our experience. It enhances trust and helps us to forgive—a benefit to our SPIRITUAL aspect.
How do you weave gratitude into the tapestry of your life?
When we saw this trailer overflowing with bicycles galore, I thought, Holy cow, that’s a lot of bicycles! I don’t know who owns them or why they have so many, but clearly their “cup runneth over.”
For the rest of the walk I wondered, what do I have a lot of? Certainly nothing tangible in that quantity. But I have a heckofa lot of intangibles to be grateful for: peace, joy, and whole health—body, mind, and spirit. In fact, my cup runneth over!
“Ait a happle avore gwain to bed, an’ you’ll make the doctor beg his bread.” — A Pembrokeshire proverb
Translated from Elizabeth Mary Wright’s 1863 Rustic Speech and Folk-lore, today we say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
And while apples—especially organic—enhance good health, there are a number of things we can do to promote wellbeing.
A mainstay in my whole health regimen—body, mind, and spirit—is restorative yoga, a slow and gentle style where each asana (posture) is supported by props such as bolsters, straps, blankets, blocks, chair, or wall. This support enables the practitioner to comfortably sink into a pose and hold it for up to five minutes, allowing them to let go, be present, and completely relax in the moment.