Ninety-nine percent of you affirm that learning about and practicing grateful living has positively impacted your life.
In June 2018, we released a five-question Community Impact Survey, and the response from you — our spirited and committed community — deeply touched all of us on the Gratefulness Team. We received 1,600 completed surveys in a short, allotted time-frame — a response rate which any organization will attest is nearly unheard of. This responsiveness shows that you care enough about living gratefully to be willing to spend precious time thoughtfully considering and sharing the meaning of our work in your life. This means a lot to us. Thank you.
With this survey, we hoped to deepen our understanding of our community’s experience with grateful living and the impact of our offerings. Thanks to your generous feedback, our eyes have opened even more widely to the power of gratefulness to make a difference. Ninety-nine percent of you affirm that learning about and practicing grateful living has positively impacted your life. Eighty-four percent of you state that gratefulness contributes positively to your emotional health, which was conveyed through stories of coping with loss, addiction, physical pain, and depression.
Many of you describe the ways in which grateful living creates space – even in the midst of suffering – for greater presence, perspective, and possibility.
“[Grateful living] has affected how I deal with my own suffering. It has shaped how I cope with and create my responses to life. At the same time it has engaged me more with social justice issues and increased a sense of belonging.”
“I find to live with gratitude enhances HOPE, sustains a depth of courage, slows the breath, which allows a deeper gaze in all directions….”
“[Grateful living] has reaffirmed my lifetime awareness and deep appreciation of the interconnectedness of everything in the universe, which I have discovered is the key to grasp the profound miracle of creation in its entirety. This has enabled me to cope with everything that life has thrown at me; the good, the bad, and the ugly. It has also given me hope for the future…”
Here is a snapshot of how grateful living influences different areas of life:
Nearly every respondent mentioned the significance of Word for the Day as a source of grounding, centering, and insight, 365 days a year.
For many of you, our daily offering serves as a needed “reminder” (the word was used 241 times in your responses!) that helps to set a grateful tone for a morning practice, midday pick-up, meditation before bed, or all-day touchstone. How powerful that a curation of quotes can offer such inspiration:
“Gratefulness.org’s daily reminders ring that little bell that automatically opens my heart a bit more than it might otherwise open. Can’t have enough little bells….”
“In a world that is often frightening to me, having an awareness of and practicing gratefulness is vital to my well being…Reading the gratefulness quote each morning anchors me in cultivating what is right and necessary in life.”
Many feel equally nourished by the poems we feature:
“The articles and poems especially speak to me and remind me of my connection to a greater network and a life greater than my own.”
“The poems I enjoy very much as they are inspirational for me. It is a source of spiritual guidance which I cannot find in many other places.”
Our eCard and Light a Candle tools support the connections – sometimes at a distance – you treasure in life:
“I particularly love the ability to light a candle and pray in quiet, in solidarity with others from around the world.”
“The greeting cards are so relevant, and I send them often — the sympathy and coping ones are unfortunately the ones I seem to use more often lately. Their simplicity says it all when words can be hard to find or commercial cards too syrupy, overdone, and expensive. Because they are at no cost, I can send them more often and thank you for that.”
And some of you appreciate our eCourses more than coffee:
“I took the poetry/gratefulness course, and starting everyday with the insightful poems was better than my morning coffee!!”
“Two years ago I participated in the ‘Gratefulness: Life as a Wholehearted Journey with David Whyte & Br. David Steindl-Rast,’ and I invited a neighbor to participate in it with me. It was a delight to share in soul conversation around the eCourse and engage with the others in the course throughout.”
“Taking your course in the transformative power of sufficiency and gratefulness helped me have the courage to wind down a business I had started to find soul-destroying. I spent months taking a break from my aspirations and significantly simplifying my life. I couldn’t be happier.”
Most importantly, you have made clear that your inspiration ripples outward, perhaps to others yet unfamiliar with grateful living.
Professionally, you are therapists, counselors, coaches, religious leaders, community advocates, hospice staff, nurses, doctors, teachers, volunteers, and more. Personally, you are parents, partners, sisters, brothers, friends, caretakers, and coworkers. In each of these roles, you help to share the gifts of grateful living:
“I have been so deeply moved by my Gratitude practice that I have brought it to my clients in a restorative justice program, who are first-time offenders. They are keeping a gratitude journal and writing a narrative about changes it has brought into their lives.”
“The emails are a good reminder for living in and from a place of gratitude. As a therapist, I use gratitude in helping clients see that difficulties can be valuable for learning new skills. Clients can learn to appreciate their own strength, assets, and compassion for self. Gratitude, in its gentility, also softens the harshness of daily life.”
“I read out loud to my husband, share with my women’s group and forward positive messages to friends. It gives me the inspiration and courage to connect with people.”
Your ambassadorship significantly amplifies our work.
The simple act of sharing grateful living not only helps spread something that makes a positive difference but also helps people to connect in ways that remind us of our deep belonging and shared, sacred humanity.
“I have already shared [Gratefulness.org] with my daughter, and she thinks it is an awesome way to connect with people around the world.”
“[Gratefulness.org] helps me to focus on the good, the kind, the truths which hold us together in a larger community. It inspires me to reach out and share with friends certain quotes or stories in order to help and encourage them.”
“Gratitude for the reminder of how powerfully restorative and creative the simplest acts of care are…Knowing there is a community holding daily practice of gratitude on this site and in so many communities reminds me that what we see reflected in popular media is not the whole story of what the human heart is capable of.”
We are honored and humbled by the average 4.8 (out of 5) star rating you awarded Gratefulness.org, and your testimonials about the important place of our offerings in your lives. We feel nourished by your tender openness in sharing your stories, your suggestions, and your encouragement. We take it all to heart.
Thank you for your continued commitment to support our work, and to transform your life and the lives of those around you through living gratefully.
“You are a wonderful, miraculous force in the world — thank you. Sometimes I feels as if I am holding on with my fingernails, to quiet the fears and cope with everyday exhaustion, and your website is an accessible refuge.”
“You are an important source of hope and inspiration for those of us trying to navigate both the brokenness and beauty abounding in our nation and world today. Thank you.”
We’d still love to hear from you! If you haven’t already done so, we invite you to take a few moments to participate in our short survey. Or leave your reflections below. We value your input as we continue to find ways to better serve you and our world.