noun: gratitude

  1. the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Today, and everyday, at The Lodge at Woodloch, WE. ARE. GRATEFUL. Sometimes, we need a gentle nudging to take the time to remember all that we are grateful for and to rest in that moment.  It takes an effort to truly appreciate the feeling of being blessed, acknowledge those blessings and in return show gratitude for those blessings. In reading and re-reading the definition of gratitude, we were humbled by the simple yet profound mention of returning kindness.  Simply feeling and acknowledging blessings is not enough.  One must show appreciation AND return kindness to truly have gratitude. Research shows that a grateful attitude has a positive effect on your health as well. One of the biggest healthy benefits is a feeling of stress relief with a gracious outlook.

As always, we turned to nature and our on-property experts to inspire us in our exploration of all we are thankful for.

First , we turned to our art team at The Lodge at Woodloch for some helpful hints. The art team suggested meditating with a mandala to begin the exploration process.  In turn, you will have a beautiful display of artwork showcasing all that you are grateful for.  Of course you can free-hand the activity as well if you prefer.  Here are a few links for inspiration:

Next, we reached out to our certified Forest Bathing Team to help us with the practice of gratitude. They explained that the Forest Bathing experience helps us to slow down and notice each and every thing around us (in nature) using our five senses.  Noticing things that we typically don’t notice, the magic of mother earth and how small we are in this big universe gives us great perspective.  The miracles of nature such as the beauty and symmetry in a butterfly, the hard work of honey bees in a hive, or the veins in a fallen leaf outlined with exact precision.  Spending this intentional time with nature makes us realize how grateful we are for each unique job that these tiny miracles in nature perform each day.  The butterflies and bees pollinating and spreading seeds, the leaves providing oxygen and phytoncides.  The earth’s soil acting as a filter.  All to provide life and love for those on earth.

Last, we turned to our MindBody experts to lend their advice on gratefulness when it comes to meditation and inward reflection. While our team offers a Grateful Meditation class around the Thanksgiving Holiday, there are also lots of resources online to try it at home. Meditation helps to quiet the mind and focus on the present.  One of our favorite places to “go” to meditate is to the forest.  But you may prefer a beach or a waterfall or maybe even the desert.  Organic Spa Magazine has an online meditation room that will take you there with the push of a button!

One of our favorite podcasts is about the science of happiness on Ted Talks.  The podcast goes into depth about how staying in the moment helps you to be happy.  The study shows that a good portion of our time we are consumed (typically fretting over) with something that is going to happen in the future or worrying about something that occurred in the past.  While very few of us enjoy what is happening IN THAT MOMENT.  The practice of being in the moment helps with happiness and of course gratitude.

To wrap things up, we have learned that we are truly thankful for many things this year. We hope this tiny extension of how we got there will help you find reasons to be thankful as well.