Springfield Meetinghouse,VT

Unitarian Universalist

Practicing Gratitude

Dear Meetinghouse Members and Friends,
Mental and physical health indicators for us humans have taken a nose dive in the past few years, social science data indicates. What can we do? The universal teachings of the world’s wisdom traditions point to a tried-and-true method for improving our mental, spiritual and physical health.  And it lies within your very own heart: practice gratitude!  It's deceptively simple and so powerful!
You are invited to take part in our ThanksLiving challenge. Welcome to this special section of our web site, created by our talented intern, Valencia Meredith.  You’ll find here, among other things, a list of possible practice below, and links to the benefits of gratitude as demonstrated by hundreds of scientific studies. Spiritual teachers have been telling us for thousands of years how important gratitude is, and now science is catching up with them. 
The ThanksLiving challenge goes through April 3. Between now and then, You're invited to incorporate at least one gratitude practice into your life and notice the ways it's changing and helping You. And also notice how a happier You is having a positive impact on the world around You. 
“In each of us there is a spark that can reverse the trends of violence and depression
 spiraling within us and in the world around us.
 By setting in motion the spiral of gratefulness, we begin the journey toward peace and joy.”
~ Br. David Steindl-Rast, originator of

If You already have a gratitude practice, may this Challenge encourage You to strengthen it or even to add another practice to your daily routine.  So, give it a try for the next few months and at the service on April 3, we'll explore more on how we are healing and growing spiritually, mentally and physically. We’ll keep up-dating the ThankLiving site with new material and ideas, so keep visiting. And let us know if You have materials to contribute. Do You have a gratitude practice to share?  Coming soon will be the video of, "Our Favorite Gratitude Practices" from Deb, Julane, and Mellen.  Be grateful, have fun and as we move towards Spring, enjoy the healing and blossoming in your own heart, mind and body.
With Love,
Rev. Mellen

Ways You Can Incorporate Gratitude in your Daily Routine:

Think of something you are looking forward to today (and everyday) 

Easy enough right? Thinking of something you're looking forward to is a great way to boost your mood and shows what is bringing happiness into your life!

Keep a gratitude journal

Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to keep you in the habit of being positive.

With your gratitude journal we advise you to: 

  • Set a time to write in your journal. - This allows you to form the habit of thinking positively. 
  • Write 3 things you're grateful for everyday. 
  • Reflect on your progress. - This is a great way to track how far you've come along!

Say Grace before meals

Saying grace before your meals is a great way to work your gratitude muscle. It is something easy to do and easy to remember. 

Take part in Steve's Worldwide Challenge

Everyday at 7 am and 7 pm take a moment to pause. You can use this time to be in the present moment, reflect on your day, or simply say "Thank you". It is a great way to practice gratitude and mindfulness and it's something that can be done anywhere. 

You can learn more about Steve's challenge here: Steve's Worldwide Challenge

Sign up for

If you're looking for more resources or simply support on your gratitude journey, sign up for!  


Are you ready to take on the challenge? Let's show the world how positive you can be! 


Dalia Lama and Desmond Tutu Dancing




Let’s explore especially the connection between happiness and gratitude, particularly from the perspective of the Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. 

40 Gratitude Quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh”     Here are a few quotes from that site:
There is no way to happiness.  Happiness is the way.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos
 — the trees, the clouds, everything.”
“When we live in the spirit of gratitude, there will be much happiness in our life.
 The one who is grateful is the one who has much happiness 
while the one who is ungrateful will not be able to have happiness.”
“The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth.”
“Learn to love, enjoy and embrace what you have in the here and now.
 That’s all you really need to be happy.”
“I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given to me to live.
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
“Breathing in, I am aware of my heart. Breathing out, I smile to my heart and know that my heart still functions normally. I feel grateful for my heart.
“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.

Staff Members' Gratitude Practices