Last Saturday night, I sat around a big table loaded with delicious food. There were thirty of us or more, sitting around that table, in the middle of the Center for Happiness' Ballroom.
The table and room had been set up and decorated in about 30 minutes, by just a few of us, and as people arrived, their dishes were placed in the middle of the table. Desserts went on the dessert table, to the side.
As more people arrived, we made extra room and let the space hold all of us.
In a way, it looked like a regular potluck, with an emphasis on wanting to eat family style, passing the dishes to one another - as opposed to a buffet.
Yet looking a little closer, and listening to the energy of the conversation, it was not quite a regular potluck.
It was a Gratitude Potluck. Our fourth one.
Initially designed to celebrate the first year of our online "90-day" Gratitude Group, these potlucks
are about tapping into - and possibly sharing - what is going right in our lives.
And whereas one might think that this would require a whole lot of planning and organized activities, my experience is that, really, it does not.
How does it work? Very simply.
We just "set up the container" (in this case a beautiful yellow room with a super long table and some small vases of flowers), Declare our Essences (Fun, Community and Gratitude), set a table, and then invite our friends and their friends to show up and bask in the joy.
To amp up the focus, we had some small Sprinkling cards on each plate, reminding everyone that They Mattered, Thanking Them for Them and that They Rocked.
A few minutes before eating, we all took three collective breaths and spent a few private minutes, eyes closed, to think about whom and what we were thankful for.
Then we ate and laughed.
Before dessert, we took turns standing at the end of the table, sharing one or two things for which we were grateful - then dropping a big red pebble in a vase of water to energize it. At that point, and amidst more laughter, I saw a few tears, too.
That's all. Well, that and great food.
And it was magical. Sweet, easy, no big deal and yet a big deal.
The reason I am sharing this with you is that I want to invite you to create a Gratitude Potluck in your community.
Really, I do. Maybe even make it a yearly thing. At a time when a whole lot of focus is spent on "what went terribly wrong," I invite you to be the host of "what went so very right." I invite you to gather people around that attention, that intention. I invite you to create, gather and celebrate a tribe of people whose vibration will carry you - and each other - through the cycles of life.
It is simple. So simple.
I believe you will find that it will have been immensely worth your time.
I also believe that many Gratitude Potlucks across the country, independent of political, religious or even hobby affiliation can create a powerful, important, and necessary web. Now more than ever.
If you want a little help in getting started, email me and I will send you my Create a Gratitude Potluck Checklist.
Wishing you a lovely Monday!
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."
Island Bliss Retreat
July 12 to 19
Happiness Retreats in Italy
"Thank you for sharing your wonderful, heartbreaking, exhilarating experience with the world."
"Thank You Laura for sharing, for teaching and spreading loving kindness. "
"I think I love you. You bring good things into my life, or remind me of things I love and know, but have let go of."
"Laura, you are so good for me. I laugh and sniffle and get the shivers when I read your essays. Thanks so much for letting all your wonderfulness run around loose."
"Heart-achingly beautiful, your words and how you reveal your truth."
"Thank you so much for who you are and what you share with the world. Your mere being transforms lives as it has transformed mine. This particular post did to my heart what water does to parched soil."
"Thank you for your gentle words that are packed full of wisdom. I have been struggling with the concept of what words can do to another person when they are negative words. Your words are the flip side of our word power, and shows how delightfully powerful kind words can be. Thank you."
"Once again Laura Lavigne takes you on an adventure of the heart. She has a way of pulling you right in the car with her. Asking you to consider changing a fear to taking thoughtful action. Whether she's teaching a class, leading a retreat or heading for a happiness sprinkling, Laura will invite you to shed old ways of thinking and be completely authentic. Join in!"
"Essentially pure love.
I enjoy how Laura is kind to herself and to us other humans who dance in and out of each other's lives. "
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You can count on Laura for warmth, humor, charm, and a lift to your day and your heart. She inspires me to be braver than I am, and to love the world out loud. She's a gem, and a generous one at that!"
I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.