16 December, 2019

Gratitude for the imperfection of Christmas

How can you express sincere gratitude when a gift you are given is something you don’t like, if you feel it hasn’t been chosen with you in mind, or might even have been re-gifted? This situation can be hurtful, perhaps even causing damage to the relationship between you and the giver. However, gift-giving at Christmas time is a symbol of something much greater than the gift itself. It is a symbol of the relationship we have with the other person. Of course, we could overcome the complexities of gift-giving by approaching Christmas without any expectations, or make it more low-key […]
10 January, 2018

How thanking awakens us

I know that it’s been too long since I have written a blog. To tell you the truth, I have been caught up in that vicious cycle of giving myself a hard time about this and then not feeling inspired. I was giving myself all sorts of excuses like the busyness of the year, lots of travel, feeling pressured with other tasks. None of this rang true really because I love writing blogs. I have been reminded of the power of blogs through reading those of my students in my current Summer School unit, Gratitude in Education. A regular weekly […]
1 May, 2017

The six pillars of gratitude: Pillar 1 – relatedness

In my last blog I identified six pillars of gratitude: relatedness, sincerity, empathy, self-regard, integrity and humility. Each of these is important to practise if we are to express deep gratitude. Our attempts to consciously practise gratitude also illuminate where these pillars are strong and where they need our attention. The pillar of relatedness may be neglected because it can often be seen as a given in our gratitude journey. We express gratitude because we feel an inherent connection to another. However, much of the way in which gratitude has been discussed – both in contemporary research and popular texts […]
27 January, 2017

Creating communities of gratitude practice

Have you wondered how you might join with others in practising gratitude together? Recently I’ve had the experience of this through engaging online with my wonderful students who are part of the UTAS Summer School unit ESM704 Gratitude in Education. Our class is comprised of school leaders, experienced teachers, pre-service teachers, and researchers in fields as diverse as paramedics, oncology and environmental science. They are from all around Australia. One of the components of the unit is a weekly discussion board that I hold as a regular book club. Week by week we study a chapter of my book Gratitude […]