By Lolly Forsythe-Chisolm
In an article posted on DailyGood.org, Brother David Steindle-Rast speaks about Five Small Gestures of Gratitude to Counteract Violence:
In this expressive art activity, you are encouraged to think of the gratefulness that Steindle-Rast speaks about in the article. “This gratefulness releases energy. In the gap of surprise before the first thought, the powerful surge of an intelligence that far surpasses thought takes hold of us. We can make our thinking a tool of this creative intelligence that constantly brings forth and sustains the world. If we willingly open ourselves to its gentle force, it has power to change whatever is not in tune with it.”
Expressing and feeling gratitude has the power to move our thinking to an expansive and inclusive sense of humanity and our participation with our world. This counteracts the stress response which can steer our thinking into traps of self-criticism, isolation and absorption. Holding space in our hearts for the sensation of gratitude also can counteract the cultural focus on violence and bad news.
In the spirit of gratitude, I am thankful to the Center for Integrative Medicine, the University of Maryland Medical Center and all my bosses and co-workers who learn, reach and grow with me every day. Also in gratitude, I thank Joanne Sharpe, art teacher extraordinaire, who inspired this activity.
About the Artist: Lolly Forsythe-Chisolm
Lolly Forsythe-Chisolm is a Mind/Body Specialist for the Inpatient Integrative Medicine team. Email her at email@example.com with any questions and/or with special ways you are using this activity and how it has influenced your days. She'd also like to hear your ideas and how healing arts have helped you!
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