‘Tis the Season to Give Thanks…

RainorShineGrateful

Rain or Shine Ice Cream in Kitsilano #grateful

KitsHouseGratitudeTree

Kitsilano Neighbourhood House Gratitude Tree

NeverlandGratitude

Neverland Tea Salon expressing #gratitude

‘Tis the season to give thanks and we in Kits have a lot to be thankful for.

A couple of years ago with the support of a Neighbourhood Small Grant funded by the Vancouver Foundation and managed by Kits House, a group of women started encouraging people on the West side of Vancouver to express their gratitude by writing on windows, ribbons or post-it-notes.

And they just keep going.

This year they have over two dozen Gratitude Stops around the west side, including eight in Kitsilano.

The idea is simple: Just add your comment to what your neighbours have said.

You can also create your own Gratitude Stop and participate in a 30-day challenge to write a gratitude message every day with your family or friends. It can be as simple as a piece of paper on the fridge, or more elaborate if you’re feeling artsy. My housing co-op is having a Thanksgiving potluck dinner and I’m going to invite people to write on a big white table cloth with fabric crayons, Inktense pencil crayons and Sharpies. A fabric artist friend tells me the Sharpies might run a bit. You can iron between sheets of parchment paper or just heat-set in the dryer. $20 at your favorite Dollar Store will set you up for a family and friends gratitude stop.

The kick off for the Gratitude Graffiti project was September 19th, but you can start your 30 days of gratitude any time. Contact Mary Jo at mj_wagner@shaw.ca to get a free Gratitude Graffiti kit or just go to http://www.TheGratitudeGraffitiProject.com

I was going to link some proof that gratitude is good for you but when I googled “gratitude research findings” I found so much, I thought I’d just tell you: Gratitude is good for you – and if you need more proof, just google yourself. Among the sources are the University of Berkeley and Harvard, usually reliable sources. And here’s a Canadian link you might find useful: http://healthymindscanada.ca/using-gratitude-counter-anxiety/

I also highly recommend environmental activist Joanna Macy’s book Active Hope that says the first step to changing the world is to express gratitude. http://www.activehope.info. She suggests we regularly answer the question, “For supporting me to live, I give thanks to…”

The 2015 Gratitude Graffiti Stops include:

  1. Barefit and Pregnant Fitness (3368 W. Broadway): http://barefitandpregnant.com/
  2. Neverland Tea Salon (3066 W. Broadway): http://neverlandtea.com/
  3. Kitsilano Public Library (2425 MacDonald) :http://www.vpl.ca/branches/details/kitsilano_branch
  4. Kitsilano Community Centre (2690 Larch): http://kitscc.com/
  5. Vital Health and Wellness (1855 W. 4th Ave.): http://www.vitalwellnessgroup.com/
  1. Rain or Shine Ice Cream (1926 W. 4th): http://rainorshineicecream.com/
  2. West 4th Physio (216-2211 W 4th): http://www.west4thphysio.com/
  3. Kitsilano Neighbourhood House (2305 W. 7th): http://www.kitshouse.org/
  4. Your favorite coffee shop or gathering place?

What are you grateful for? Please comment.

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