What does gratitude look like in a community? You’ll soon find out!

community store PA

Gratitude Graffiti Project Champions are popping up everywhere- some in places we planted seeds in years ago and are flourishing now; others are new communities that are taking a leap of faith and joining us on this journey to find the joyful, grateful heart.

When Lucila left over a year ago to move back home to Vancouver, we did not know how and if we could continue doing this from such a long distance. Some of Lucila’s thoughts were: ‘Would the Vancouver culture be accepting of an idea that has people writing on walls and public spaces?’  while I wondered, ‘ Could I carry this project in our  hometown, on my own?’

Life and faith have a funny way of answering you once you let go…

It turned out that not only was Vancouver ready for it, but schools and old friends and new neighbors have embraced our “Gratitude Graffiti” concept and are helping Lucila to make Vancouver one of the healthiest places on earth.  In their second year they are expanding not only throughout the community but also in their scope of reaching more schools and teaching a future generation about gratitude and mindfulness. The different dates of Canadian vs. American Thanksgiving has not affected the project at all; in Lucila’s mind she is just pleased as punch  that people are practicing mindfulness, anytime of year!

As for me, it turns out that I fell in love all over again last fall  (and continue to do so!) with the love and support I have received from our sweet town of Maplewood, NJ. I found great company among women and men who loved the idea of spreading this project all over town. I love that my township and my health department saw the vision of what the project is all about and threw their full support behind it when I wasn’t sure how I was going to afford doing the project. I love that we came out strong and were cited in the Wall Street Journal as one of those great communities to live in, because collectively, we reflect and embody a host of grateful people- which people can see as they walk or drive by and see the writing on the wall.

Old and new friends who have the heart of fearless lions (needless to say they are fiery health educators and health promoters) who said, “YES! Sign me up!” and championed this in their communities all over.

It may be one location. It may be one school. It may be one scribble on a piece of post-it stuck on a wall.  It just may be one block in a large metropolis.  But it is the start of something. It is a place where people will slow down. They will contemplate. They will write or draw feverishly, with gusto ~ or slowly and with feeling.  But however it may manifest, the end result will be this- they will leave happier and more content, and hopefully come back for more.

What does gratitude look like in your community? Join us and find out….

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