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Finding Gratitude – with love, from my heart to yours. (Games, too!)

IMG_6217Today is not the easiest of days to find gratitude. Yet I know I can. And I know that remembering what I’m grateful for doesn’t make me a traitor. It brings balance. Some light in the darkness. A measure of water to replenish the well.

When I remember what I’m grateful for, I can more easily see the things that need changing in the world. I can remember to pray with gratitude, to fight in the name of gratitude, and to love and get on with the business of living, with gratitude. In the name of gratitude.

In moments of great heartbreak, I find myself grateful that I have family to come home to. In the moments where my body hurts so badly I don’t know how to go on, I keep breathing, and find gratitude for this body that just does keep going on.

In the dark moments, I am grateful for the faith that sustains me, the value I hold in the Work I am blessed to do in the world. I am grateful for the children I have been blessed to bring into this life, the amazing grace that is the lives they are creating for themselves. I am grateful for my parents, all their love, their dedication, and the values and learning I have had handed to me – even when it’s been a crazy ride, I’m still grateful.

I am grateful for my husband, for the love and life we share. I’m grateful for love. For the adventure of it. For the joy of it, and even the pain of it. I am grateful for the continued exploration of it.

I am grateful. Even in the hardest moments, there is much to be grateful for.

As the war continues in Ferguson, Palestine, Afghanistan, and all the places war is raging right this minute, I find gratitude for the people on the front lines. I’m grateful for the teachers who are teaching, the fighters who are fighting, and mamas and daddies who are holding their babies as the fires rage. I am grateful for those who are teaching me how to be a better activist, and a better person.

As I think of all the things I am grateful, I cannot deny my privilege. I am grateful for so many things that I know are offered to me because of often unseen, often unacknowledged privilege. And in this lies a deep pain, and shame. Yet if I cannot recognize my privilege, it remains invisible. Made visible it becomes a tool. A tool I am grateful to do my best to learn, and learn again, how to use for good.

So in gratitude, I raise my voice against hatred. I gift what and when I can to people who need a thing I have to offer, and am grateful in the giving.

As the fight for recognition of human rights continues, I am grateful for each person who raises their voice, or in anyway offers themselves to the struggle. I am grateful for the opportunities to show up where I can, signal boost when and how I can.

I’m grateful for the community of world-changers I am blessed to know and work with. Learn with. Teach with. Love and live with.

I am grateful.

And we go on. In gratitude. Fired by a passion for liberation.

What are YOU grateful for?

From my heart to yours; some games of Thanksgiving.

First, a card game, from me to you;
Get GRATIGORIES! Get grateful.

A Gratitude Round Robin – Gratitude Games * A Grateful A to Z – A Gratitude Game for Kids of All Ages

A Gratitude Game – Gratitude Round-Robin
Posted on November 21, 2010

Definition of Terms

a. Round is a go-around where everyone in a group gives their answer.

b. Round-Leader is the facilitator of the round. This position transitions at the conclusion of each round. The role of round leader can go to the person who wants it next, or you can pass the role in the round, either to the left or right. If a player does not want to be a round leader, they can pass.

Basic Guidelines:

a. Never force, “cajole” , or pressure any player into responding to any prompt. “Pass” is always an acceptable response.

b. The main rule is: Answer from gratitude. BE GRATEFUL!

c. Always give the person who is offering their gratitude the floor. Do not interrupt them, question them, or quiet them. If you’re playing this as a family, it’s especially important that you allow one another the full range of voice.

Round-Robin:

Sitting in a circle, or around a table, one person starts with a statement of gratitude, then everyone else in the group follows one-by-one. The group can set guidelines as desired.

Some possibilities:

  • Stay within a theme for each round.
  • No repeats per round. (For example, if someone says they’re grateful for family, someone else may say they’re grateful for a person IN their family, but not repeat the more general idea.)
  • Staying with one idea for every round (like, the round-leader says they’re grateful for apples, then everyone in the round says why they’re grateful for apples).

A Grateful A – Z — A Gratitude Game for Kids of All Ages
Posted on November 17, 2010

When I was a kid, we played alphabet games in the car to pass the time on long drives or road trips. I’ve recreated one of those games, with a gratitude theme. A Grateful A to Z includes players of all ages – from talking age up.

A Grateful A to Z is an adaptable game. Variations are listed below. For young players, A Grateful A to Z serves two purposes; it teaches both language skills and gratitude! And, with older players, there are ways to make A Grateful A to Z more complicated.

You can choose a category, or allow A Grateful A to Z to be free-form. Free-form is recommended for younger players, and is easier than working with a category. Themes or categories are recommended for more advanced players.

1. Definition of terms:

a. “Round” is a go-around where everyone in a group gives their answer to the category, or passes.

b. “Round-Leader” is the facilitator of the round. This position transitions at the conclusion of each round. The role of round leader can go to the person who wants it next, or you can pass the role in the round, either to the left or right. If a player does not want to be a round leader, they can pass.

2. Basic Guidelines:

a. The main rule is: Answer from gratitude. Be GRATEFUL!

b. Never force, cajole, or pressure any player into responding to any prompt. “Pass” is always an acceptable response.

c. Always give the person who is offering their gratitude the floor. Do not interrupt, question, or quiet them. If you’re playing this as a family, it’s especially important that you allow one another the full range of voice.

Remember, you can print out these directions, or you can upload them to your palm-top and not print at all. Please keep your “footprint” in mind when considering your options.

Variations and Detailed Guidelines:

A Grateful A – Z, Freeform:
The round leader starts a round with the phrase “I’m grateful for…”, and chooses anything starting with an A. The round leader can pass the prompt either to the right or left. The round ends when the alphabet ends. You can make it more complicated by offering a “no repeats” guideline.

A Grateful A – Z, with Themes:
Round leader comes up with a theme – people you’re grateful for, things you’re grateful for, inventions you’re grateful for.

Enjoy your family this holiday season!

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