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Practicing Gratitude

by Becky Keigan, Cohort 4

I think about gratitude a lot. You may be familiar with this quote from David Steindl-Rast, a Jesuit priest, who states, “It’s not joy that makes us grateful, it’s gratitude that makes us joyful.” It does. Brene Brown in her book Atlas of the Heart, defines gratitude as “an emotion that reflects our deep appreciation for what we value, what brings meaning to our lives, and what makes us feel connected to ourselves and others.” It’s true. I believe we have to practice gratitude, which requires noticing, feeling, accepting, and the willingness to express verbally and through the written word, all the things for which we are grateful. Things like admiring the beauty of our state and country’s magnificent landscape, changing seasons and corresponding recreation opportunities. Spending time with family and friends who live near and the technology that allows us to connect to family and friends who live afar. Experiencing a baby’s smiles, laughs, cooings and their discovery of this world. Delighting in the curiosity and independence of toddlers. Listening and learning how to explore the little and big things from children. Relishing in the growth and development of my fellow Buell leaders as we connect, share stories, play, and engage in leadership development opportunities to collectively impact ourselves, those we love, our colleagues, and our communities. Appreciating each of you for bringing your BRAVE (Bold, Reliable, Able, Vulnerable, Equitable) and generous selves to your work to go above and beyond to serve your organizations, local communities, state and the world. There is magic in practicing gratitude. It brings joy to the recipients and to the givers and supports wholehearted living. And that is beautiful!