In ancient Greek and Roman mythologies the Three Graces were the daughters of Zeus. These three sisters were reputed to be the embodiment of charm and beauty and creativity. Their virtues inspired artists, including Rubens and Boticelli, and most famously the sculptor, Canova, who executed several renditions in shimmering white marble. The Romans called the Graces collectively, Gratitae, the same root word for thanks, as also found in the modern words, gracias in Spanish, or grazie in Italian. The idea of the feminine embodiment of virtue would grace or lend favour to a relationship or gathering is common in many cultures and languages.
While grace has commonly been connected to divine blessings the related word of gratitude does not require a theocentric ideology and can have benefits for those who chose to acknowledge and appreciate the positive aspects and incidents in their lives. Whitespace has developed a tried and tested methodology of gratitude recognition. What is now understood through modern scientific testing, is when we show appreciation, we automatically increase our happiness and deepen our relationships.
A great way to end your day is to ‘count your blessings, instead of sheep.’ If you take the few minutes to record 5 incidents which you appreciate happened during your day, no matter how trivial, you will deepen your restful sleep and increase your natural serotonin. One of our international clients, whose job required travel across time zones, was always taking melatonin to assist in getting to sleep. He was able to eliminate this remedy in less than 4 weeks by substituting his nightly recorded gratitude for 5 occurrences he recognized as positive during his day. Respected author, Melody Beattie says this about Gratitude,
We all like to think of ourselves as positive, and appreciative of the good things we have in our life. Unfortunately, the competitive nature of a consumer society inhibits our ability to feel appreciation for what we currently have, by accentuating our implied need for something bigger or better, newer, or more advanced. Cars and houses, televisions and smart phones are common possessions many of us believe will make us happy. Contemplate and appreciate the time saved and connections afforded, which can be attributed to these modern conveniences not the brand or hype.
We all learn to say thank you but those friends who truly show appreciation are those we feel closest to and for whom we would do anything to help. Your grace is not like luck, fortune or divine blessings, but recognition of our human connections and the human condition. It is important to appreciate the beauty in nature, the help from family and friends, the life we have been given, despite the upsets and difficulties we face. The recognition of the daily occurrences which make us thankful automatically lowers the desperations which also occupy our lives. We understand that you may have tried other happiness techniques and would be most grateful to hear your experience using the Whitespace nightly journal of appreciation.