Grateful grace and the gratitude gravy chain

#GratitudeGRAVY day 11

Several years ago, I was at a yoga retreat and one of my favorite teachers Patty Zimmer, said grace before we ate a meal together.

I'm not a very religious person, so saying grace isn't always in my repertoire.

Patty thanked everyone who made the meal happen, thanked the food delivery truck drivers, the cashiers at the store, the farmers who grew the food. She thanked as many as she could think of whose hands made the meal possible, not just the almighty ones or the ones in the kitchen.

I loved this practice and adopted it as my own. It’s a beautiful way of being grateful and full of grace.

Then, I stumbled upon a crazy gratitude story that took this one (or 1000) steps further.

A NYC-based writer named A.J. Jacobs was doing a similar practice with his kids. He said he’d been in a bad mood for a while and thought the practice would cheer him up, while also teaching the kids about the power of gratitude. So, as a family, they thanked all the hands that went into their nightly dinner.

One night, one of his kids precociously brought up the fact that there was a flaw in this system. None of those people (the food delivery truck driver, the cashier at the grocery store, the farmer) could HEAR them say thank you and shouldn’t they actually let the people know how thankful they were?

A.J.decided to turn his kid’s comment into a quest--->the gratitude trail

He picked his morning cup of coffee as the top of what he calls the gratitude trail.

Then he pledged to thank every single person who had a role in making his morning coffee possible (more gratitude for coffee ;-).

We’re talking the barista, the cup makers, the South American farmer, the people who picked the beans, the truck drivers, the people who paved the road, the roasters, the warehouse managers and on and on down the chain.

He even thought about thanking his favorite barista’s parents who lived in Asia!

His quest took him across time zones and up and down the social ladder. 7 months and 964 thank you’s in English and in Spanish, later, he had given thanks to nearly everyone involved in his one morning cup of coffee.

He said it was like making hundreds of reverse prank calls. He’d drop in on some unsuspecting warehouse person in a different country to thank them for making the paper that made the cup for his morning coffee in America and they, understandably, thought it was a prank.

It certainly wasn't meant to be a prank, and it became a life-changing endeavor. It made him more grateful, but also more mindful, happier, and even more likable. Plus, he made the day of hundreds of unsuspecting people who were just doing their job.

Not only that, the gratitude trail showed him how connected we all are.

Because when you go down the gratitude chain, there’s probably less than 6 degrees of separation between all of us and our everythings.

Gratitude Gravy Practice #11
Contemplate your own gratitude gravy trail. Give some thought to all the hands that went into your morning beverage, your evening meal, or your avocado toast (my favorite), and acknowledge as many people as you can think of in your mind or out loud.

This doesn’t need to be a 7-hour gratitude filibuster or a journey around the world, just a way to extend your gratitude out a few circles and acknowledge that so many diverse and wonderful people contributed to the bounty at your buffet. We are more connected than we realize.

Gratitude is willpower

Scientific Side Bonus
Not only will you feel better after extending out your gratitude, research has shown that you should also be reaping some health benefits, from all of these gratitude gravy practices.

For starters, grateful people are more likely to exercise more, engage in more proactive healthy behaviors and forego destructive habits.

One of the more significant studies from the last 5 years, done by Northeastern University in Boston, showed that grateful people are more likely to postpone rewards and delay gratification.

People who are grateful also eat 25% less fat than those who aren’t grateful and can improve their self-control by 15%.

So slowing down and giving a little gratitude grace comes in handy in our on-demand world where we can “reward” ourselves pretty easily with a variety of vices.

Want extra gravy?

Go travel the world and thank anyone and everyone involved in your coffee. Just kidding, but if you do decide to travel the world to carry this one out, be sure to tag me ;-) on social! 

I wasn't on a gratitude trail, but I did get to see the origin of my favorite salt in Peru. This is pretty much the mothership for this Maras salt-loving gratitude gravy creator. 

Grateful trails to you—

Lizzie Larock
Coach & Creator of Gratitude GRAVY & The Life Feast

PS If you're sharing on social, please use #gratitudegravy. You can also share in the Facebook group. We love that! Tag me or follow along on Instagram. I'll be adding some gravy to my stories...

Joining late? Need a reminder? No worries!

I'm grateful you're here. Rather than clog your in-box, here are the previous challenges. Catch up on old ones or jump in wherever. There are no rules for #gratitudegravy - just fun! Please feel free to forward to a friend or share the sign-up page. Anyone can join the free gratitude gravy challenge at any time.

Day 1---> Don't let your gratitude be bland (get the most out of gratitude)
Day 2---> Look for the good (3 good things)
Day 3---> The GREATful Outdoors
Day 4---> How to make a grATTITUDE adjustment at work
Day 5 --> It's gratiTWOSDAY (a 2-minute practice with big health benefits)
Day 6 --> The Grateful Bed - the practice that helps you sleep longer
Day 7 --> Give that thanks away - the case for thanking a stranger
Day 8 --> Love on the Little Things - write a gratiku in 2!
Day 9 --> Gamify your gratitude (read before Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving)
Day 10 -> Gratitude goes Prime Time (10 ways to practice long past leftovers)


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