On a skype conversation this morning with my team from the USA (David, Dustin, Colleen) I was told about a gratitude arc. It was love at first hearing.
Here is how it works.
Say you are in a conversation with Mary who has introduced you to Paul. There is a possibility of some synergies and collaboration between you and Paul. Or maybe there is not and it is a simple conversation.
To practice the gratitude arc you would start with acknowledging the people and events that brought Mary into your life, specifically and thoughtfully naming them all, right back to Source.
Why would you go to the trouble to do this?
Let me make it personal. How many times have you contributed value to another, or to a place…perhaps an introduction, an action, spent time…offered your services for no fee…and your actions have been stepped over completely? How many times have you put in the extra hard yards at work, and it is either expected, or ignored?
If you are human, the continuation of being unacknowledged and unseen begins to hurt. If we allow it, our value diminishes in our own eyes, which then diminishes our value in the eyes of the other.
However if someone see’s you and acknowledges you, either in voice or through action, you feel so much more inclined to continue your acts of kindness and generosity. You feel seen. Feeling seen is such a massive and amazing gift, and one that is so easy to give.
To practice acknowledging the lineage of relationships, value exchanges, a meal…is to practice connecting to Source.
To thank and bring to mind the person who cooked the meal, the person who brought the produce, the people who put together the equipment (stoves, cutlery, serviettes, etc), who stacked the shelves in the grocery store, who delivered the food, right to the farmer who grew the food, cultivates the soil, cared for the animals, the rain that fell, and the worms and bacteria that brought wealth to the soil…to bring all of these people, places and events into your gratitude arc, always connects us more deeply to Source.
And when it comes down to it, under all the hard work, the personal and business issues, and every bit of noise that distracts us in life…ultimately what we want more than anything is a deeper connection to Source.
For the people you acknowledge, present or not present, the act of the gratitude arc brings dignity and meaning to their work. Somewhere in the world that is registered.
Besides, gratitude, kindness, respect…what’s not to love about building a life where these qualities are the foundation?
This is the world I seek to live in.
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