Have you ever felt happy and been compelled to share a smile or say hi to a stranger as you passed? Perhaps a song popped into your mind that got you humming. While these moments may be short-lived, the impact of the seeds of warmth and positivity that are sewn carry the potential to grow into something more.

In November we celebrated a special Thanksgiving meal with family and friends from around the world. We had a delightful two days of preparation, shopping, baking and cooking wonderful things to share. We fixed smoked and Cajun versions of turkey, cranberry sauce, Swedish Hasselback potatoes and many kinds of pie. The guests came with food from their homelands of Lithuania, Peru, India, Sri Lanka, Oman, and Dubai. What a feast! We were all grateful to share time and a delicious meal together. Our son and his fiancé then prepared plates of our extra food to hand out to those nearby who were hungry and homeless, as an expression of their gratitude for the love and support of family and friends.

Ai Chi is an expression of love and gratitude extended to us all by Jun Konno. As a father who named his daughter “Love” in his native Japanese, as a dedicated swim coach who searched relentlessly for creative ways to help his swimmers reach new goals, and as an aquatic teacher who developed the practice of Ai Chi to help tense class participants to relax in the water, Jun’s goal was above all to give to others, with grace. When he realized that Ai Chi could benefit a wider audience plagued by stress, he collaborated with renown aquatic educator Ruth Sova to achieve his dream of sharing Ai Chi with the world. Ai Chi certification classes are some of the most popular offerings at aquatic conferences. And the Ai Chi Trainers who come out of those classes help their participants find calm and relaxation in addition to the physical benefits that Ai Chi brings. Expressions of gratitude and kindness inspire sharing with others in ways that multiply exponentially that you may never fully realize.

As a year marked by world strife and stress draws to an end and a new year begins, consider that even small expressions of kindness and positivity can help set a new course.

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Writen by mpierce

MS PT, Northwestern University; BS PT, St Louis University; CEEAA; ATRIC; Ai Chi Trainer since 2015; De-Mystifying Mindfulness by Universiteit Leiden on Coursera, Certificate earned on November 4, 2017;

4 thoughts on “Grateful

  1. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. Simple acts of kindness reverberate and grow in ways we will never know. What a beautiful Thanksgiving you had and that photo says it all. Thank you, Mindy

  2. Hi Mindy, Thanks for your post about the Ai Chi focus of Love, Gratitude and Kindness. I am very grateful for Jun Konno and Ruth Sova for sharing this practice with so many. Coincidentally, the theme word that I chose for myself this New Year’s Day for 2024 is Kindness and Gratitude was my theme word for 2023. I wish you and our Ai Chi Community a wonderful New Year!
    Jane Myers, OTR/L, ATRIC, Ai Chi Trainer

  3. Nothing like sharing the wealth around the holidays – I’m grateful to have had family and friends to celebrate with, and all the better to be able to include some strangers as well!

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