Why You Should Try Crafting Gratitude
Crafting Gratitude: Creating and Celebrating Our Blessings with Hands and Heart by Maggie Oman Shannon came out last month and I'm here to share with you that if you've been looking for creative ideas for bringing more of what you want in life to fruition, this is an excellent route to take.
Maggie's new book is filled with so many great ideas for celebrating gratitude in tangible ways through tactile practices including many actual craft projects such as jewelry, candle-making and card-making. The chapters are focused on areas of our lives where we can ponder gratitude: relationships (including family, friends and our preferred Divine Source), health, prosperity, home, nature, opportunities, etc. The instruction in this book is completely text-based, and there are no illustrated step-by-step directions. As Maggie mentions in her book's introduction:
This is not so much a "how to" book, but a "why to" book; my intention here is to give you ideas for making these gratitude practices your own.
And a wonderful "why to" book it is!
I was immediately inspired from the beginning of the book. In the first chapter, Maggie has a suggestion for creating Thanksgiving Cards in lieu of (or addition to!) traditional holiday cards. These are cards that you send to others to express how you are grateful for something they contribute to your life and happiness. This includes people who help in significant ways, but also those people whom you might not know as closely, but who make your life easier in some way. I loved this idea and couldn't wait to start crafting. I decided to hand-carve a stamp design that would be easy for me to add some color to via watercolor paints, yet didn't necessarily say "fall" or "turkey time." I also didn't want my cards to appear as typical "thank-you" cards (not there's one single thing wrong with thank-you cards; I just was going for a different type of experience) and I pulled it off in a way that I was happy with.
I'm truly looking forward to sharing these with some of the people in my life who have recently been there for me in a variety of ways. And, as I was starting a list this morning, I realized I am going to need to make more! (There are worse things!)
My own project in the book is a bracelet project that celebrates one's core values and unique place of purpose in the world. It's in the Gratitude for Vocations and Avocations chapter and my intention was for it to help readers appreciated the gifts they possess that contribute positively to the lives of others.
Many of the project ideas in the book are ritual-based, which I love, offering numerous ways to practice gratitude on a regular basis, in ways that are suited to each person such as time of day or even time of year; activities meant to be practiced privately as well as ideas for families or groups; spiritual practices as well as simple daily reminders.
As we move into the celebration of Thanksgiving next week, I hope you'll give this book some consideration as a fun support system for celebrating gratitude the remainder of the year.
And as I close, I am grateful to you, dear friend, for continually reading my blog posts and providing me with a purpose. Happy Thanksgiving! Love, Tonia