Here is an example of a shared agreement that I use for the gratitude practice that I mention in my blog posts “Why and How to start your own Gratitude Practice” and “The Science behind creating a new habit.” Every relationship is basically a fabric of shared agreements, whether are spoken or unspoken. When we consciously set up our shared agreements, we clarify what we expect, what others can expect of us, and how we will navigate our conversations (especially the sticky points)… I’ll talk more about my experience of shared agreements and their purpose in a separate article…
Feel free to copy it, used it and/or adapt it for your own Gratitude Practice.
Today, on [add your date], we agree to
- Share 5 Gratitudes each day with each other for 30 days. In 30 days we will reevaluate if we wish to continue, change or improve anything.*
- Respond to each other’s gratitude emails at least with a “Thank you for sharing!” – to signal to the other that they have been seen, heard, and received with love.
- When reflecting we will refrain from giving advice or opinions. Instead we will share with each other what moved, touched and inspired us.
- Share from the heart.
- Recognize and honor that our hearts are tender and need safety in order to share openly and authentically. There for we will
- hold our shares in confidence
- be truthful – to each other and especially to ourselves
- honor the uniqueness, individuality and brilliance of each other’s experience of the gratitude journey. This means no judging (including ourselves) or comparing…
- Take a stand that there are no victims: We share from a place of personal responsibility and let go of seeing ourselves or each other as a victim. (We won’t use the gratitudes to rant, vent or process things, or to cover up or numb our feelings (“spiritual bypass”). Even when (or ESPECIALLY when) things are tough we will do our best to share things that we (can at least imagine that we) are truly grateful for.
* If at any time either one or both of us wants “out” of this shared practice, we promise to first talk about it – so we can see for ourselves if we want out because of “growing pains” that are scary (and we actually need each other’s accountability to get through this), or if there is a reason to stop, change or adjust….
** These agreements are open to revision anytime we feel we need to add, change or delete something.