The 30-Day Mindfulness Challenge officially ended Wednesday, February 9. During the (optional) weekly Challenge Zoom session we engaged in a guided gratitude practice, and shared reflections on the importance of gratitude in our daily lives. This post includes a brief summary of the event and resources to sustain your personal practice.
Gratitude is often considered merely a form of thankfulness – which it is – and yet we can also deepen our understanding of gratitude by considering the way that gratitude is defined by Robert Emmons and Jeremy Adam Smith in the book The Gratitude Project: How the Science of Thankfulness can Rewire our Brains for Resilience, Optimism, and the Greater Good. Gratitude, it is stated, includes both:
- An affirmation of the good things that exist in the world, of gifts and of benefits we’ve received AND
- Recognizing the sources of this goodness that exist outside of ourselves, i.e. other people or a higher power
As an RC community we can experience and express gratitude that reflects all the goodness that exists in the world and within our agencies, the gifts of learning that each of us experience in both our personal and professional lives, the personal growth and development we and our RC colleagues experience, and the healing experienced by the individuals that we support.
We can also experience and express gratitude for the sources of this goodness. Those sources might include leaders of our RC agencies, individuals responsible for funding the work of our agencies through grants and donations, all of our colleagues who help make our work possible and meaningful, the individuals we support who enrich our lives, and, for some, a higher power.
Consider the following steps as a way to sustain your successful Challenge experience:
- Reflect on your Challenge intention
- Experiment with Gratitude practice using the RC Gratitude Meditation that we used in our recent session, available at this link
- Read and consider the resources included in the online article, What Happened When I Taught Gratitude Practices to Nurses, which is pertinent to RC treaters, too
- Listen to A Teacher Reflects on Teaching Gratitude, which offers an inspiring overview on a practice of critical gratitude by educator Stephen Leeper
- Consider how you might repurpose the Challenge Tracking Calendar to support your ongoing mindfulness practice
Micro Practice (1-3 minutes or so)
Consider keeping a gratitude journal where you simply write down 1-3 things you experience each day for which you feel gratitude. You might write these in a notebook, on a single sheet of paper, or other format – and at the beginning of each day, or once a week, consider briefly reviewing and reflecting on your gratitude statements. Consider sharing some of your gratitude statements with others – a colleague, a supervisor, or an individual you support.
Those present in Wednesday's Zoom session completed the post-Challenge program evaluation survey. If you were unable to attend the February 9th session, we invite you to complete it by Tuesday, February 15th.