Let us ground ourselves in gratitude: using the colorful paper and something to write with, we prepare for our Gratitude Confetti ritual.
Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg says:
I encourage myself to remember that being grateful doesn't mean I have to keep a gratitude jar that counts my blessings. It just means I can reset my thoughts, just like in meditation, and choose instead to gently settle my attention on something positive. We don’t erase the pain—it’s still there—but we can broaden our perspective by opening to our pain and also opening to things other than the suffering we feel.
While we listen to music a few minutes, consider something or things for which you feel gratitude. As you write those things down, be aware that your words will be read by someone else in our circle. (I will ring the chime to mark the time for ending your writing.)
There are two ways to enact the ritual when you ring the chime; language follows:
Move to a space where folks can create a circle with 4’ to 5’ open in the center. Invite people to crumple their paper (on which they’ve written what they’re grateful for) and toss it into the air, aiming to keep it in the circle, creating a “confetti storm.”
For greater sensitivity to those with mobility challenges, create circles of ten to fifteen people who pass their crumpled sheets clockwise for a set amount of time (kind of like musical chairs) and when stop is called, they keep the one that is in their hand.
I invite you to make a circle [as per your space’s and people’s capacity]. Bring with you your slip of paper.
Now raise up or out the hand with your piece of paper, take note of the color of your piece of paper, and on the count of three, crumple it into a ball. One, two, three.
Next, also on the count of three, toss it up and into our confetti bowl/circle. One, two, three. Behold the joyful vision of our colorful abundance of gratitude! [Here is where you could use the clockwise circle exchange option instead.]
Now, you can do this on your own or each other out but you should take a confetti ball that is not yours—the easiest way to do this is to take a color different than the one you wrote. Go ahead now.
Does everyone have one? Feel free to open it up and read silently to yourself what is written there. If there are many words on it, pick one or two that will represent the larger message.
Next, starting to my left, we are going in a circle and speak aloud what is written on the paper in your hand, remembering that you are tenderly holding something dear to someone in the room.
Please return to your seat, taking with you the gift of someone else’s gratitude now revealed on that piece of paper. You are now the tender keeper of someone else's inspiration for gratitude and someone is the keeper of yours. See if you can keep this paper with you to remember your blessings, especially in times when it's hard to remember. Know that as you hold theirs, they hold yours—which is how we live out the interdependent web of existence.
• Colorful quarter sheets of paper
• Pencils (golf pencils work)
• Background music as folks reflect/write
• Space to create human circles