Gratitude is one of my favorite practices, mostly because it makes me feel good. :-)
When I practice gratitude I feel like my life is full of abundance and that I am connected to the rest of the world. It helps me cheer myself up when I’m bummed out and it helps me to savor and enjoy things when I'm feeling great.
I have plenty of ways I bring gratitude in my daily life, but today I’ll share one that makes for a fun art activity.
Drumroll please... Gratitude webs!
You’ll need a blank piece of paper and a pen or pencil. If you’re feeling extra artsy, or if you have kiddos participating too, you’ll probably want some crayons or colored pencils as well.
You can each come up with something or someone that you feel grateful for—something that brings you joy to think about, and that you feel happy is in your life. Maybe it’s your computer, your pet, your spouse, your parent, the dinner you just ate. The possibilities are limitless. Today, I chose my morning cup of coffee.
Ok, write that item down in the middle of your page. You can circle it if you like. I chose to draw a picture of the item too.
Now start thinking about what all came together to make that person, place or thing possible. Did it need nourishment? Did someone build it? Did you get it at a store? Did a farmer plant it?
Make a line coming out from the center item going to one of those things that made it possible. If you can think of a lot of things that made it possible, make a lot of lines!
Now, take some time to think about what made those things possible. Did the farmer water the plant? Did someone drive it to the store? Did someone sew the cloth? Did your item need sunshine? Love?
Make a line coming from the outer items to all of these new parts you’ve just reflected on.
You can keep doing this until you run out of space, or out of imagination.
Way to go! You’ve just created a gratitude web! The next time you feel grateful for your item, you can also feel grateful for all of that webbing you added around it. Without all of those other parts, the thing you were feeling grateful for wouldn’t be there to begin with! No matter how many times I do this activity, I'm always amazed at how connected we all are.