The Gratitude Experience

The Year of Gratitudeā„¢


The Year of Gratitude - Transcript

Three Hundred and Sixty Five days in a year, and Three Hundred Sixty Five challenges for you! This year challenge yourself to meditate on something that you are grateful for each day and act on it. Share your feelings with another and notice how this changes your daily life. Perhaps document these in a journal or notebook. 

There are many ways to go about sharing gratitude with the people around you, and if you find it challenging, perhaps think of it as a game or service. When I was a child, my mother’s friend liked to create a “lottery” where she would put several people’s names in a hat whom she knew, and then she would draw a lucky winner from the bunch. Amazed by the good fortune I did win her lottery a few times growing up which included a handmade card, a feel good letter, and 100 dollars. This random act of kindness was both rewarding for my mom’s friend, and inspiring for me. 

Once you are focused on thinking with optimism, and sharing your thanks in your own special way, you will have the power to make yourself happy. Happiness is a strong emotion and can easily transform negative thoughts into humorous, endurable or sincere moments. Our brain’s are curiously complex and if we learn to identify what triggers our minds to feel good, and bad we may use that to our advantage. Consider this story about our human brain.  

Brain scientist Jill Bolty Taylor describes her experience of having a hemorrhage in the left side of her brain, and the brilliance of having the right side of her brain take over her senses for a brief moment. In this fantastic Ted Talk account Taylor shares the emotional state of both the left and right side of the brain and how significantly different they are. She describes her experience of loosing consciousness in her left hemisphere and loosing all ability to read numbers, or define herself from the world around her. What overcame Taylor was the overall sensation of her right hemisphere taking over all thoughts and emotions in her brain. The right hemisphere can be described as the energy that makes up humanity, it is the whole, and it is the psychology to make the world a better place. She recalls ebbing in and out of consciousness temporarily aware of her need for help, and then easily lost to the awe of the experience. Our two hemispheres are connected by the corpus callosum which transmits information back and forth between the left and the right sides of our brain. The hemorrhage blocked her left hemisphere which thinks rationally, it categorizes, associates and it is what separates you from everyone else. 

Jill Bolty Taylor ends her story by sharing her thoughts about how humanity could benefit from favoring the right side of her brain. Her hypothesis was that if we could choose to spend a little bit more time in the right hemisphere we could be able to relax and dismantle the stresses in our lives to share peace in our communities. Like Taylor’s story we too can choose to open up and share gratitude with the people around us, and invest in honest and nurturing relationships.