As I reflect upon my own mindful gratitude practice and gather resources to reboot my Mindful Gratitude workshop, I am continuing to explore the work of Brother David Steindl-Rast. The “Stop. Look. Go.” practice is one of the new tools I found and wanted to share. It is an informal practice that happens in the comings and goings of daily life and takes only a few minutes and some reflection. Here are the three parts:
1.) Stop. This alone is a quite valuable practice. We live in a culture that is all productivity, rush and noise. Can we take a moment and be still? What benefits might we experience if we do? In Steindl-Rast’s words, we need to create “stop signs” in our lives that create a pause and be still.
Take a moment and reflect: where might you create a stop sign in your own life? What cue will you use as a reminder?
2.) Look. Be curious about your own experience in this moment. What do you see? Hear? Feel? For what can you experience a sense of gratitude? You don’t need to manufacture anything, and if something quite difficult is happening, there is no reason to try and change it. Perhaps you just remember that you are alive. That you are breathing. That there is no moment exactly like this moment.
3.) Go. What seed for action is this moment offering you? Living is an art that you create as you go. How can you make it beautiful for yourself? For others? Ask yourself these questions and wait patiently for an answer. When you get one, do it, act on the insight that comes from your own intuition and reflection.
Need inspiration to start this practice? Here is a beautiful video from gratefulness.org’s website.
Did happened when you took a moment to stop, look, go? What did you find? Please share your thoughts below.
In reflective conversation and in the surveys I send out to participants after working with me, I find that gratitude practice is consistently the most impactful in daily life. Many months later, even people who are not doing formal mindfulness meditation are still using the Beautiful Moments practice and experiencing gratitude as a part of daily life.
I am doing a gratitude workshop with two amazing administrators on Monday who are trying to implement mindfulness practices into their whole building. We are going to explore gratitude together, and I am happy to have this opportunity to find some new resources and revisit some old ones.
While reconnecting with the work of David Steadl Rast, whose TEDTalk is below, I once again came across Gratefulness.org.
I took the opportunity to engage with the “light a candle” practice they provide through their site. I used the moment of pause to be grateful to all those people who support my work in the world and are willing to engage in the process of growing with me. Then I made this dedication:
After making a dedication, the candle burns for 48 hours, and there is a link to click and be provided with a mini-candle for your laptop during that time.
Mine is burning right now, and every time I see the flame, I am mindful of the love it represents.
For what can you be grateful today? Please leave your thoughts below.