According to the World English Dictionary, Gratitude can be defined in the simplest terms as: (n) a feeling of thankfulness or appreciation, as for gifts or favors. Stemming from the Latin word grātus (which means grateful), Gratitude is nothing new. But what is it really? Why does it matter? Obviously Gratitude is different depending on the individual, and by no means do I feel as though my interpretation is the only way, but I wanted to share what Gratitude is to me.
I have A LOT to be grateful for; I have two eyes and two ears and two functioning legs and arms and ten fingers to type right now. I have friends that will forever have my back and a family that I would do anything for. I have two loving parents who support my decisions and want only to see me happy, I have a sister who is growing up faster than I can really handle. I have a dog whose favorite time of day is when I walk back through the door, and a cat that cuddles on my pillow with me. I have the two most incredible roommates, for whom I have undying gratitude for everything that they have done for me; I’m grateful for the chance to learn how to blow glass from those same amazing people. I have a roof over my head and food in the fridge, I have enough gas in my car to get to my next destination. I have love coming to me from all directions from all over the world and WOW! I am SO GRATEFUL! I feel all that love and it makes my life sparkle. I’m grateful to understand that there is so much magic out in the world, and that I will not stop until I adventure near and far to feel as much of that magic as I possibly can! I’m grateful that I am not comfortable with being content- I want to turn my world upside down and experience LIFE for all of its wonder and chaos! I am grateful to be a college graduate and that I was given the early opportunity to learn to read and write and better my life through my education. I am grateful for Asheville, and all of the endlessly amazing and spectacular things that this incredible town has gifted me. I have an amazing job at the coolest store with a best friend for a co-worker and a boss with endless love to spread. My gratitude extends to every artist that walks in our door and gives us the honor of hosting their work to share with the community. I am grateful for this incredibly close-knit and conscious community that takes the time to care about each individual, as well as the whole; and who also avidly supports all things local. We have these mountains- these MAGICAL Mountains that give everything and ask for nothing in return. I have a home in which my heart resides, and for so many people- I know that is not the case; and I have love for those people because I know what it’s like to not feel your heart in the place that you are and it really is a terrible place to be (if you are without your heart). But for me, this really is not the case because Asheville has all the rights to my heart. Asheville is the source of my love and I don’t think there will ever be enough words to express the kind of gratitude that I have for this city of some 86,000 fellow mountain dwellers.
Gratitude is so much more than just a word- it is a state of being. It is the space between your feet and the earth, between your body and another’s. It is the air we breathe and the water we drink, it is the essence of our humanity- gratitude is what keeps us here, what makes us human. Being grateful is an action- it is the way in which we should all seek to live our lives for if you live in the realm of gratitude- how could there ever be room to be anything but grateful? If we were ever to lose sight of gratitude as a whole, how on earth would we live? Would we exist in the dark, filled only with fear, anger and sadness ? Would we interact with people or would we just hide in our safe place because there seemed to be no point in trying to make connections in an ungrateful world? You don’t think about it because it’s always there in some form, just like we don’t think about breathing, but just take a moment to think on a world without gratitude. It would be a terrible place- a loveless, heartless, connectionless place where a train of thought would always end in, “What’s the point?” Think about it, without gratitude this existence is meaningless. We need to be grateful every moment of every day because this day that you have to do with what you wish, is worth appreciating. When you appreciate more, you open up your heart to all of the love (and gratitude!) there is to experience. Breathe it in! When you exhale with gratitude it gives more for the next person to take in- and if we all just keep giving more than we receive with each breath, we are bound to make positive strides in this world. Aim big with your gratitude- the sky is the limit! Take a moment and think about one thing in this moment that you are grateful for- now hold onto it as you slowly inhale and stop for a moment to give it more power- now release that beautiful appreciation out into the world for more people to experience. Doesn’t that feel amazing? Don’t you want to have that feeling all of the time? Well you can!! It’s free and easy and all it takes is a moment of your time- whenever you have a moment to give. Take that moment and give it away- don’t hold it for yourself and all the things that you think you want- just let it go to the next person, I promise they need it. When you breathe out gratitude, you give someone else the chance to take in appreciation, to feel appreciated. It is their job to pass it on, and so giving that same power and appreciation to the next person, and so on and so on. Keep your friends close and keep gratitude closer. Appreciate this incredible moment because there is no better time to be alive in this body with this mind than RIGHT HERE-RIGHT NOW!
With Endless Love and Gratitude <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
The Circle is grateful for YOU and artists and art and glass and circles and upcycled clothing and hand-dipped candles and sage and locally crafted jewelry. We have endless gratitude for every smiling face that walks through the door reading 426 Haywood Road. Thank you for supporting local artists and local businesses. Thank you for sharing your love and gratitude with us, and I hope you feel it back ten-fold. The Circle Loves You! <3