Gratitude is Gorgeous

My last post about showing supporters some love and appreciation got me thinking about the positive mindset that accompanies gratitude. In meditation they teach that two opposing thoughts can’t take up residence in the mind at one time. Thus, if you turn your mind toward the things for which you are grateful, in those moments when your mind is pondering gratitude, you won’t at that same time be thinking about things that aren’t going so well. In some ways, gratitude is a gift you give yourself while you send it out into the universe for others to enjoy.

My first real partnership with gratitude came a few years back when one of my daughters was away at school and none too happy with the way things were going. She was dealing with some significant issues and had reason to be unhappy. In seeking a way to help her develop a life strategy and to keep her head above some very miserable waters, we agreed to try something. At the end of every day we’d text or email each other three things we could be grateful for that day. We committed to one month of shared gratitudes. What we found was that even on the worst days we could each find three things we felt merited recognition for goodness. From “I noticed the cloud formations in the sky were magnificent today,” to “my breakfast oatmeal was especially satisfying with those blueberries in in it,” to  “My friend got some wonderful news today and I’m happy for her,” to “I was able to run three miles,” or “My English teacher adored my paper,” each day held something of value to think about right before the end of the day.

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We finished the month and continued to share gratitudes for a while longer.

Although we no longer write them to each other, I developed a habit of getting into bed and finishing the day silently writing my list of three things I appreciate about the world, my life, my friends or loved ones or pretty much anything in the universe. This practice has served me well in good times and bad. Especially in bad. You can imagine how much I needed this in the years I was dealing with our dysfunctional extended family. I could write a book! Oh, wait, I did write a book! 🙂 The point is that you can try this too and I pretty much promise it will add a bright spot to every day.

Give this a try. In the comment section, write the first three things that come to mind when you consider being grateful today. You’ll be glad you did.

16 Responses to “Gratitude is Gorgeous

  • 1. 70-degree temps in Florida today
    2. Ability to enjoy my fitness training class this morning with friends
    3. Grandboys coming to our house for a sleep-over this evening.

    I write in my gratitude book daily. It’s amazing how many good thoughts can crowd into a small space. Great post, Debby.

    • I know it’s wrong to judge anyone’s list but I must say I love your three and the daily journal is brilliant!

  • 1) My best friend I hadn’t talked to in a few weeks called last night and we had a nice long chat.

    2) My husband and I are going out tomorrow night for halloween dressed in costumes…first time we will go out for halloween since we had kids 36 yrs ago!

    3) I am more fortunate than anyone I know – I have been so very blessed in life. I was walking on my gym’s running track a few weeks ago and started thinking of all the people I know and immediately felt so grateful that I am me living my life, and not them living theirs.

    • Wonderful reasons to be grateful. I hope your Halloween is Spooktacular! I feel similar when I’m running in considering how fortunate I am to be able to be my age and doing what I can do.

  • My list: Loving husband. Surviving cancer. Nature’s beauty outside my window. I’ve never kept a gratitude journal but I’m going to use your idea, Debby, and silently list three things each night. Being grateful changes my whole outlook on life.

    • I am thrilled you like the idea enough to give it a try. Sleep peacefully! You’re so right about the power of gratitude.

  • 1. I had an unexpected visit from my sister-in-law and we had a lovely 3-hour chat
    2. We put up the Halloween decorations today, and it was such fun.
    3. My husband cooked me pork chops for dinner, one of my favourite foods!

    What a lovely thing for you to teach your daughter, and that you could both do together, though apart.

    • I love it when the unexpected visitor is a pleasure! I’d also love a husband who would cook but I didn’t luck out in that department. (Really good guy, just not in kitchen.) It was a wonderful way for me to stay connected to my daughter and much better than stalking her! 🙂

  • …in meditation and mindfulness, it is helpful to dwell in the present…and gratitude is a powerful thing to be present about…in each moment we are alive , we experience all the wonders of being alive , the enjoyment of our ability to know the world through our senses, the understanding that we must accept life as it is and revel in dancing to the music in our hearts with each step as it comes…

    • In tonight’s list of gratitude I will include how thankful I am to have read these words, “we must accept life as it is and revel in dancing to the music in our hearts with each step as it comes.” Perfection in words. Thanks. Namaste.

  • This is beautiful Deb. I try to remember to say the things I’m grateful for every day, but they usually are mentioned at some point during the day between my hub and I. When we get ticked about something, one of us will always say to the other: well we should be grateful that we’re alive and well.

    I am grateful for being alive after all the health issues I’ve suffered.

    I am grateful for my husband’s undying love.

    I am grateful for all the wonderful friends I have made here in my writing world, who are always encouraging and are also the only people in my life who really understand what it means to be a writer.

    • You make a good point about the main thing many of us can be grateful daily… we’re alive and if we’re really lucky, we’re well. I think when we feel fine we are most likely to take our heath for granted, which clearly we shouldn’t!

  • Driving some distance to fetch someone from a home for the disabled; forgetting to take my cell phone but getting there and back with no incident!
    Managing to do some work on paper that has has to be in soon
    My husband tidying the kitchen after lunch
    Thank you Debby for this lovely post. I usually write in my gratitude journal at night before turning in. I began it at the beginning of this year and have found it to be a valuable exercise … your month of exchanging gratitudes with your daughter is brilliant.

    • What did we do before cell phones? I guess we found our way, just as you did today. Thanks so much for sharing your gratitudes. I’m grateful today for that!

  • WOW! Truly inspiring Thank you
    1. Truly grateful for my husband.
    2. Love my boys like nothing else in my life
    3. I finally started a Blog because this is my passion

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