I practice gratitude on a daily basis. I’ve been doing it for a really long time. I started long before my husband and I got married and, in turn, before our awesome son was born. I mention them, because these days they are what I am most grateful for. But my life wasn’t always so full.
I remember when I started my first gratitude journal. It was over ten years ago. More like fifteen. I remember reading about gratitude in some Oprah book. I was in between gigs (which always led to some level of anxiety and uncertainty within me). I didn’t have a stable relationship with the man I was “dating.” I knew, somewhere in my gut, that the relationship had no real future. I was in my thirties. Divorced. I didn’t own my own home yet. My family was wonderful, but they all had their own lives. I was on the slow boat to figuring it all out. In fact, I remember wondering, if I ever really would know what true happiness was all about. I recall feeling like I needed to try something to get my head in the right place. Writing a list of five things I was grateful for each day seemed pretty painless. And according to Oprah, it was uber powerful. I decided to do it.
I know it may sound ridiculous to those who have never tried it. But this simple practice actually changed my life. I started slow. I had to think to name those five things everyday. Somedays it would be things as simple as the clean water I get to drink, or the beautiful weather. I actually started seeing the world around me in such a different way. Roadblocks became opportunities. I learned to appreciate what was right in front of me instead of always looking to the next thing. My focus throughout the day became looking for the positive things I could add to my list. And day after day my gratitude grew. My attitude shifted and my heart became happy. My inner voice became clear and loud within me. Gratitude didn’t just change my life, it changed me.
This Thanksgiving I am filled with gratitude for all I have in my life. These days naming five things is a breeze….my daily list could fill pages and pages. But in the spirit of honoring this simple practice that I believe in so wholeheartedly, I will make a list. Five things. It’s the secret to happiness. I promise.
- My wonderful husband
- My amazing son
- Our health
- Our home
- My parents
Until next time, I encourage you to get yourself a notebook, pick up a pen and name your five things. See what happens. And remember, behind every great kid is a Mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up. Thanks so much for reading. Xo