It seems like every other week I’m begging my awesome friend Kassi Grunder to start a blog. Girlfriend does it all–she’s a mouth-watering vegan chef/steadfast defender of social justice/fearless world traveler/hot guy savante/joy-spreading positive thinker and all around great gal. (Basically, I’m in love with her.) But Kassi’s too busy living in the moment (and kicking ass at the University of San Diego’s School of Peace Studies, getting her masters in Peace and Justice studies with an emphasis on conflict resolution) to blog, so I guess I’ll have to do it for her.
This summer, when Kassi made the transition from Anchorage to San Diego, she had to kick her joy spreading up a notch to adjust to her new home. We chatted quite a bit during this time and, one late night she asked me if I wouldn’t mind helping her by making a “gratitude list.” The rules are simple:
The way it goes is that we both just make a list together. Since it’s digital, we don’t have to take turns. Just blast it out. Ready?
Fueled with her typical jet pack of effervescence (and knowing I’d dig it) Kassi didn’t waste time waiting for a response, she just started blasting gratitude all over me. I returned the favor. Here are the results:
I am grateful that I am literate. I am grateful that I have some Spanish. I am grateful that I have a home and that it is so supremely lovely. I am grateful for all of the layers of support that my family gives me. I’m grateful for cold beverages that are tasty but not too sweet. I’m grateful for the sunshine. I’m grateful for non-creepy male attention that I feel no compulsion to reciprocate. I’m grateful for the swap meet and for great deals on things that I need. I’m grateful for kind neighbors and acquaintences. I’m grateful for this girl Emily that I met who I just LOVE. Already! She’s my favorite!
I am grateful for my many mentors–my client, Brent, my therapist, Paul, my best friend, and the women in my life who guide me.
I’m grateful for champagne grapes.
I am grateful for my US citizenship and ability to travel the world.
I’m grateful for thank you cards.
I am grateful for the plentitude of Haribo gummy bears available in Germany.
I’m grateful for my love of Mexico. I’m grateful for fantastic tamales and other fresh and delicious Mexican food.
I am grateful for light-filled rooms and big windows.
I’m grateful for that, too. I’m grateful for the wonderful farmers markets here. EVERYWHERE. I’m also grateful for super cold white wine.
ME, TOO! WHITE WINE 4EVER. I am grateful for my ability to speak Spanish.
I’m grateful for beautiful dresses that look great on me. I’m grateful for friendships that transcend time and space.
I am grateful for my kind, loving, compassionate boyfriend, who nurtures and cares for me.
I’m grateful for courage.
I am grateful for the Internet and my connections with family and friends aross the globe. I am grateful for radical feminism.
YES. I’m grateful for the divine forces in my life and the way that they guide me and also cater to me. I’m grateful for the access to knowledge that I have. I’m grateful for Elizabeth Gilbert and her new book Committed. So helpful right now. I’m grateful for the beautiful crystals that have come to me recently. I’m grateful for the people in my school who have welcomed me and made space for me.
I am grateful for my creative abilities.
I’m grateful for vipassana, even if I don’t use it regularly.
I am grateful for my ability to say “F*** you” to the system and live my dream.
YES, that is wonderful. I’m grateful for my body’s ability to heal. I’m grateful for forgiveness. My capacity for it, and others’.
I am grateful for the kind man who works at the kebab place downstairs.
I’m grateful for moving on.
I am grateful for growing my business.
I’m grateful for time and the way it moves.
I am grateful for Chalchihuitan. I am grateful for my college education.
I’m grateful for the plants that have lived with me.
I am grateful for the arts.
I’m grateful for my opportunity to be part of this program.
I am grateful for Clara Fraser.
I’m grateful for my healthy body. I’m grateful that I will have insurance.
I am grateful for my computer.
Me toooooo. I’m grateful that I have control of my fertility. I’m grateful for generous strangers. I’m grateful for people who love play and enjoying things they enjoyed as children. I’m grateful for people who are great parents and whose kids are consequently full of joyful exploration. I’m grateful for adaptiblity, good food, and patience.
I am grateful for the men who have hurt me and given me the fuel to help others.
I’m grateful for traveling in the world.
I am grateful for my adventurous spirit. I am grateful for mountains and oceans. I am grateful for mystery. I am grateful for literature. I am grateful for poetry. I am grateful for pens and pencils. I am grateful for sunlight. OMG. THIS IS AWESOME, KASSI. LIFE IS AWESOME. WE ARE SO LUCKY.
IT IS TRUE!!!! Gratitude lists are delightful, huh? I’m grateful for the ability to do them and how much they uplift me.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I AM GRATEFUL FOR YOUUUU.
I AM GRATEFUL FOR YOU, TOO!
Reading this list again, I am brimming with gratitude. Blasting away with Kassi at a moment’s notice gave me no time to prepare my answers, making the experience all the more authentic and heartfelt–a judgment-free exercise in joy, mindfulness, and spontaneity that took me from glum to gleeful in less than ten minutes. As an activist, some days I feel so swallowed in sorrow that I find it difficult to remember what it is exactly that I’m fighting for–this is it!–a world where, together, all of us can cherish life’s tiny treasures: oceans and sunlight, mystery and adventure, freedom and forgiveness (and don’t forget gummy bears).
Now I urge you to do the same. Grab a friend and get your gratitude on. (Don’t think, just blast.) And pleeeeeease–share the results. Just one or two items from your list will do.
Tip #15 for working with heart – make a gratitude list.
p.s. Are you grateful for this post? Want to get in touch with Kassi? Email her at kgrunder (at) gmail dot com! You won’t be disappointed.