I am practiced at giving gratitude.
I learned how to say "Thank you" when I began speaking 34 years ago. Saying "Thank you," became an automatic response.
A few years ago I woke up to gratitude. I gave gratitude--sincerely and with intention. "Thank you" has become come more than an open door, plate of food, or change at a cash register for me. For me, saying "Thank you" has becoming a blessing of being--a culturally acceptable form of "I love you." Sometimes I see gratitude received as an extra second of eye contact and a hint of a smile. Other times, I see a downward look and a mumbled "You welcome."
I am not practiced at is receiving gratitude, a thank you, or a sincere compliment. What I notice is that when someone says "Wow, thank you!" I say "Your Welcome. That's my job." To "the color or that dress is amazing on you." I say "Oh, thanks, that's my house dress. I didn't want to get out of my PJs today." In the "professional" world, gratitude comes as a yearly monetary percentage from a bodiless management. This is the gratitude I am practiced at receiving.
When was the last time you took in gratitude?
Take a moment and receive the gift of gratitude. Ask for it.
Practice taking in gratitude. Notice where gratitude shows up in your body (a smile, a skipped heart beat, a breath, a downward look, a tear).
This weekend I stood in a circle, words coming between tears, the purple elephant on my chest, and the swelling in my throat. "Tell me I'm wonderful." Going around the circle*, one by one I took it in. Each breath, intentionally deep--the meditation of receipt.
Could it be that I am also a blessed being, and I am wonderful?
I missed it. Please, please, please, please, please say it again.
I am wonderful. You are wonderful. We are wonderful.
Rachael Naomi Remen's book My Grandfather's Blessings offers a visual: Our blessings [gratitude] circle above us like airplanes in a holding pattern ready for us to receive them. These blessings hold for a life span--waiting for us to allow them to be received.
Practice receiving. Practice giving. What do you notice?
*Thank you to J11 for tending and teaching me.