Practicing Gratitude

Practicing gratitude builds a foundation for resiliency, happiness, and connection. It’s so true!

As this episode goes live, it’s the week of Thanksgiving 2020 here in the U.S. 

Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating!

Here in this episode, I’d love to inspire you to bookend your days with a gratitude practice.

And encourage you to try one of my simple gratitude activities with your family and kiddos.

“Practicing gratitude in a conscious way helps it grow!”

The harvest season is certainly the perfect time of year to say thank you… but really, any time will do! 

Because we all have a deep desire to be seen and heard. And making a gratitude practice part of your weekends, birthdays, or any family gatherings will build deep connections and the foundation of resiliency. 

“Gratitude elevates any activity into an act of prayer and leads to a sense of well-being.”

Practicing Gratitude Inspiration Cards

Here’s a small special gift for you to show MY gratitude. Download your free Inspiration Cards with quotes and tips from this episode right here ?.  

3 Simple Ways of Practicing Gratitude with your Family

Gratitude Tree with Colored Leaves

This is a beautiful centerpiece for the family dinner table or sideboard!

Throughout the day, invite your family members to write things they are grateful for on pre-cut, colored paper leaves. (There are lots of printable leaf patterns on the web.) The little ones can draw pictures or have a parent or sibling act as scribe for them. Then, decorate a cut tree branch with the lovely leaves. 

Read all of the leaves aloud during your holiday dinner and enjoy the growing feeling of gratitude!

After the holiday, you can string all of the leaves together and create a “Garland of Gratitude.”

Jar Full of Gratitude

Collect a basket of acorns, buckeyes, or river stones on a fall nature walk. Or buy some walnuts or hazelnuts in the shell as the supermarket. Even colored glass gems would be pretty for this activity. 

Place an empty jar in the center of your family dinner table. Then as you share a meal together, pass the basket of nuts around the table. 

The idea is for each of you share something you are grateful for as you place a nut from the basket into the jar. Can you keep passing the basket around until you fill the jar with your collective gratitude?

Thank You Basket

This is super simple! 

Gather a stack of index cards and colored pens, then invite everyone in your family to write down something that they’re grateful for throughout the day.

Fold the cards and place them in a basket.

At your family dinner, the basket can be passed around and everyone can read a card. Try to guess who wrote each card, if that sort of game is fun for your family!

Quotes from this episode

Melody Beattie, author of The Language of Letting Go, wrote these inspiring words, “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”

The struggle ends when gratitude begins.” That’s a quote from Neale Donald Walsch, American author and modern day spiritual messenger. 

Over 100 years ago, Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the Waldorf approach to education, a world wide movement, wrote this passage,

     “Nowadays, the feeling of gratitude is underestimated. Gratitude connects people with the world, makes them feel part of the world. If one guides the child in such a way that it can develop gratitude for even the most unimportant or trivial things it meets in life, then that child does not close itself off from the world in egotism, then it becomes altruistic, it feels itself to be a part of the environment…And when one has imparted to the child the feeling of gratitude, then one will realize that the basis for moral education has been planted. Because if one has taken care of this feeling of gratitude and gratitude is experienced as a compatible with all knowledge, then the feelings of the child will easily be penetrated by the love that the human being must have for all the rest of humanity and ultimately for all creatures of the world. One can develop love in the best possible way through gratitude.

You might also enjoy

Thinking of how you might bring more meaningful rhythm and ritual into your everyday? I have a free guide that can help! Homeschool Rhythm Starter Kit.

If you enjoyed this thoughtful quote from Rudolf Steiner, I’ve written more about Steiner’s words of wisdom here, A Steiner Verse for an Uncertain World.

Perhaps you’d like to cultivate your own practice of gratitude, self-care, self-compassion, or inner work. This is so important for us as homeschooling parents. I have a collection of articles here, 10 Resources for Radical Self-Compassion on the Homeschooling Path.

And YOU, dear parent! I’m so grateful for YOU and the important work you’re doing in the world by homeschooling your kids.

Want to show your appreciation for the Art of Homeschooling Podcast? You can now buy me a coffee!

About the Podcast

The Art of Homeschooling Podcast is for parents who are ready to thrive in homeschooling. In each episode, we share stories and strategies so you can drop the overwhelm and get in touch with inspiration. You CAN create a homeschool life you love. 

I’m your host, Jean Miller, homeschooling mother of three now-grown children. And here at the Art of Homeschooling, we keep it sweet and simple so you can focus on cultivating creativity and connection at home.

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