Considering the past 24 hours, reflect on these three questions:
- What have I received?
- What have I given?
- What troubles have I caused?
What made it possible for you to be here?
Please reflect on this question: What made it possible for you to be:
- living where you live
- doing what you’re doing in your life
Moment by Moment
Saying “thank you” is a nice way to express gratitude, but it also helps us notice what has been done on our behalf. However, saying “thank you” can easily become just something done out of habit. So for a day or two, instead of just routinely saying “thanks,” specify the action that was done for you: “Thank you for holding the door for me,” for instance. This helps make you more aware of what’s happening in the moment. Try setting a goal of saying “thank you” mindfully at least 10 times over the course of a day or two.
Who cared for you lately? By this, we don’t mean “Who cares” in some emotional sense—we’re asking who took actions that supported us in some way. When we eat out, a server takes care of us. Maybe a grocer provided some food, someone put air in your tires, someone gave you directions. Some of the time, we see these people, and some of those who care for us remain in the background. Reflect back on the past few days and see how many people care.
Personal Possessions Inventory
Look around your home for objects given to you by others. It might help to start with one room, maybe your bedroom. Make a list of what’s in it and who gave it to you. Then move on to another room, into your closets, and so on. How many gifts can you find in the half-hour you spend reflecting? Might you write any belated thank you notes to anyone for something useful they gave you?