Gratitude has always been promoted by spiritual traditions and in recent years, has drawn attention from researchers such as Robert Emmons (Houghton Mifflin, 2007) who is part of a larger movement called positive psychology which focuses on health-promoting behavior and the pleasurable parts of life, rather than on illness and emotional problems.
In this art-session with women, we combined a breathing meditation with a drawing exercise and zikar or remembrance (an islamic spiritual practise of chanting). The drawings thus produced were literal power objects- talismans- that participants were encouraged to place somewhere where they could see them later. On the back of these drawings, we created lists of things that we are grateful for. Of-course it was a wonderful hour we spent. The breathing and drawing is always calming and the sharing creates a sense of being heard and a group cohesion that invariably touches. What touched me the most, however, was that these lists, if one gets into them- go on… and on … and on
“ I think ladies we need to stop now.. our time is up”
.. and the lists go on .. and further on..