These days it is hard for me to find any suffering that I do not inflict on myself, over and over, any problem that isn’t born of my own fear and brittle judgement,again and again, any impossibility that doesn’t arise from my own parsimonious view: the view that what I am and what I have is not enough. Never enough.
-Karen Maezen Miller.



Gratitude {ˈgratɪtjuːd} noun: The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. –Wikipedia.

I love this definition. It is simple and powerful. Gratitude is the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Every moment is kind to us. Only, we have to begin to see it that way. Your toddler screaming for you and throwing a tantrum while you are working busily at your computer, your evenings with your little one after a stress filled day at work, a day complete with failures at work, an ice cream treat from the hubby, a hug from your kid as you wake up in the morning, there is something to be grateful for in all these moments.  However, it requires practice. The practice of seeing; seeing the moment, connecting with it and feeling grateful.


Studies show that cultivating gratitude opens up other cognitive strengths within us such as the ability to shift perspectives, think outside the box, express love and be loved, connect to your spirituality and most of all increase your felt sense of happiness.  It is the foundation upon which these other strengths grow and flourish.

Experts suggest that our brains are naturally wired to focus on the negative.  In order to move from this place and rewire the brain, one of the most powerful tools is focusing on what you are grateful for and lingering on it for a few seconds (30 to be precise, as we discussed before).

I began this practice two years ago and had a steady practice for over a year. I have found in my experience that when I intentionally practice gratitude for my days, for my family and for difficult situations, I am able to focus on the reality of the situation, that it has both positives and negatives and that where I am right now is not as bad as my brain makes it out to be.  This makes me more anchored in my life and helps me choose a more intentional and loving way to interact with others.

Assignment this week:

At the end of our day (we will continue to do this practice throughout this week and add to it), we will get our pen and journal out and write three things that we are grateful for about that day and why. 

Many people try writing a gratitude journal and feel like it is a wasted practice because they don’t focus get specific with this journaling exercise. They write about what they are grateful for in general, like family, nourishing food, etc and while these are great it is really important to be specific and talk about what you are grateful about your day.

Moreover, when people don’t write why they are grateful they are unable to connect with the feeling of gratitude. So BE SPECIFIC and answer WHY.

These two components are very important. Now, a lot of people write things like I am grateful for my toothbrush, for my towel, for my clothes and the list goes on. They get lost in the myriad things they want to include in their practice. That is why we will keep our list to THREE things.

So in all your assignment:

  1. What are the three things (people, events, etc) you are grateful for about your day.
  2. And Why?

I highly recommend journaling for this week even if you didn’t do so the previous weeks. Also we will add to these questions for the remainder of the week of gratitude.