Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Gratitude Journaling: 12 ways this practice transforms your life

Lynne Snead's Gratitude Spot
If you’re not keeping a gratitude journal yet, maybe these snippets from scientists and leading thinkers and publications will jump start your practice. There could easily have been 100 snippets here … but the point isn’t to read about keeping a gratitude journal … the benefits only come when you DO it.

In 2016, the Gratitude Miracles Journal grew out of Joyce Wycoff's personal intention to practice gratitude in a way that combined all the science with the easiest, fastest way to embody gratitude. Available on amazon.com.

In early 2021, Joyce joined forces with her co-author Lynne Snead to take gratitude journaling to the next step and Gratitude Mojo was born as a bigger, better way to get the amazing benefits of this practice.

Click here.

The BIG One: Be Happier. The best way to reap the benefits of gratitude is to notice new things you’re grateful for every day. Gratitude journaling works because it slowly changes the way we perceive situations by adjusting what we focus on. While you might always be thankful for your great family, just writing “I’m grateful for my family” week after week doesn’t keep your brain on alert for fresh grateful moments. Get specific … Read more here: The Science Behind Gratitude

Gratitude Makes You Love Your Life. When you live your life in gratitude, you maintain an awareness of all things that are good in your life and focus less on what’s not working. When you acknowledge what is going right in your life, it’s impossible to become stuck in negativity. Gratitude keeps you thankful, happier, and more positive. Read more here: 6 Ways to Love Your Life More.

Attract More Good Stuff. Appreciation is one of the highest emotional states you can experience. When you cultivate gratitude, you’re able to feel true joy and contentment, no matter what you have or don’t have in your life. And since the Law of Attraction states that like attracts like, when you’re grateful for what you already have, you will naturally attract more for which you can be grateful. Read more here: 6 Daily Gratitude Habits

Be Healthier. Studies have shown that people who regularly practice feeling thankful have a leg up when it comes to their health. Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California at Davis, has been a leading researcher in this growing field, termed “positive psychology.” His research has found that those who adopt an “attitude of gratitude” as a permanent state of mind experience many health benefits. Read more here: A Dose of Gratitude

Greater Success. Science tells us that people who are thankful for what they have are happier and reach their goals with greater ease. Your future health and happiness depends largely on the thoughts you think today. So each moment of every day is an opportunity to turn your thinking around, thereby helping or hindering your ability to think and feel more positively in the very next moment. Starting and/or ending each day by thinking of something you're grateful for is one way to keep your mind on the right track. Read more here: The Many Benefits of Expressing and Receiving Gratitude

Higher Energy. In adults with neuromuscular disease, a 21-day gratitude intervention led to higher energy, more positive moods, a greater sense of connectedness with others, more optimistic ratings of their lives, better sleep duration, and better sleep quality (Emmons). Read more here: The Benefits of Adding Gratitude to Your Attitude.

Teaches Self-Discipline. One of the biggest struggles writers deal with is the ability to sit down and put pen to paper, even when they don’t feel like it. Starting off slow makes it easier. A gratitude journal can have a double-whammy effect in this case, teaching you to be thankful for what you have while also making you learn to discipline yourself to do a task for a few minutes at a time. It’s a great way to learn self control for any aspect of your life.

Improves Psychological Health. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression. Read more here: 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude

Less Physical Pain. Indeed, it seems there are few conditions or examples in which gratitude doesn’t appear to have a positive effect. A psychologist from the University of Birmingham noted in 2013 that the “list of potential benefits is almost endless: fewer intellectual biases, more effective learning strategies, more helpfulness towards others, raised self-confidence, better work attitude, strengthened resiliency, less physical pain, improved health, and longevity.” Read more here: 5 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude

Makes People Like Us. A few minutes a day with your gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10 percent.a1,a2,a3 That’s the same impact as doubling your income! Read more here: 31 Benefits of Gratitude

Sleep Better. Greater Good reports ... perhaps the most popular practice is to keep a “gratitude journal.” As we’ve reported many times over the years, studies have traced a range of impressive benefits to the simple act of writing down the things for which we’re grateful—benefits including better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, and more happiness among adults and kids alike. We’ve even launched our own digital gratitude journal, Thnx4.org, here on . Read more here: Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Ability to Focus Improves. In today’s society, keeping a gratitude journal is a must for all up and coming Career Girls. In her latest book Thrive, author (and powerhouse) Arianna Huffington explains the huge role her gratitude journal had in propelling her to success, and honestly, it makes perfect sense. Read more here: Gratitude Journal - First Step to Success

Thought Leader: David Steindl-Rast

Click for Ted Talk: Want to be happy? Be grateful.
“The root of joy is gratefulness...It is not joy that 
makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”

Renowned spiritual leader and Benedictine monk, Brother David Steindl-Rast trained for 12 years in the Benedictine monastic tradition before receiving permission to practice Zen withBuddhist masters. He went on to become a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell, where he was the first Roman Catholic to hold the Thorpe Lectureship, and co-founded the Center for Spiritual Studies, as well as gratefulness.org.
Click here.

Notes  from talk:

Grateful living. Every moment is a gift. We haven’t earned it, we haven’t bought it but it is the most valuable thing that could be given to us. This moment is a gift. The gift within this gift is the opportunity. Opportunity is the gift within every gift. Every moment is a new gift offering a new opportunity.

“Does that mean we can be grateful for everything? Certainly not! We can not be grateful for violence, for war, for oppression, for exploitation. On a personal level, we cannot be grateful for the loss of a friend, for unfaithfulness, for bereavement. But, I didn’t say we can be grateful for everything. I said we can be grateful for every given moment, for the opportunity."

“We can arise to the opportunity that is given to us. When a difficult thing is occurs to us, it’s a challenge to rise to that opportunity. And we can rise to it by learning something, which is sometimes painful."

“And if we fail, we always get another opportunity. That is the wonderful richness of life."

"How can we find a method that will harness this? There is a very simple method: stop, look, go. You need stop signs in your life." 

"A grateful world is a happy world." 

Suggested Book: 
More Quotes: 

“Everything is a gift. The degree to which we are awake to this truth is a measure of our gratefulness, and gratefulness is a measure of our aliveness.”
― David Steindl-Rast, Jesus and Lao Tzu: The Parallel Sayings

"Look closely and you will find that people are happy because they are grateful. The opposite of gratefulness is just taking everything for granted."
— David Steindl-Rast in The Music of Silence

“We are never more than one grateful thought away from peace of heart.”
― David Steindl-Rast

Vision Is Tonic

Originally posted in 2016

Barn in Utah
Consistency is not my middle name. I’m really good at starting new projects and new habits. Maintaining them over time … not so much.

So, it was something of a surprise to me this morning to realize that I’ve just finished 5 weeks of keeping the Gratitude Miracles journal. 35 days. Without a miss.

It made me wonder why I’ve been able to maintain this new behavior of keeping the gratitude journal when most of my new leaves have turned brown shortly after turning them over.

A couple of things come to mind … the system I designed for myself is easy and quick (5 minutes), and I completely believe that gratitude is powerful (the fact that there are scientific experiments confirming that helps).

However, last week reminded me of the interplay of vision and discomfort.

Leo Babauta talks a lot about discomfort and new habits in zenhabits.net and says that the one skill that changed his life was learning to be comfortable with discomfort. But, no one really wants to be discomforted, so that thought never got me far.

Last week, however, I did a 5-year visioning/planning workshop for a small company I’ve been involved with for the past ten years. It’s a successful, small niche company and the people are warm, generous and dedicated to quality for the clients as well as healthy, balanced lives for themselves.

One of employees shared an article focused on vision and discomfort (included below) with the main two-part take-away being:
  1. Execution invariably requires taking new actions, and new actions are often uncomfortable.
  2. Creating and maintaining a compelling vision of the the future that you want even more than you desire your own short-term comfort is the key to success.
I have some new habits I would like to start … and, this time, I’m determined to maintain them over time. The Gratitude Miracles journal has given me the confidence to think I can design a system that will work for me and the article below makes me think I can withstand the discomfort involved … if I can create a vision that’s bigger than the effort and discomfort required. 

It seems that there are three things required for “success” in any new endeavor:
  • Vision: a possibility or end result that’s bigger, more appealing, more delicious than the reality of today. Vision is the tonic that makes all things possible.
  • Action: doing new or different things … moving out of our zone of comfort, i.e. into discomfort and tolerating the discomfort long enough to achieve the vision.
  • Confidence: in the vision as a possible reality and in our own ability to tolerate the zone of discomfort to get there.
So, on this lovely Sunday afternoon, I am off to create a vision for a new possibility.
How about you?

More Information:
From:  The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington.

"Behind every impossible achievement is a dreamer of impossible dreams." - Robert K. Greenleaf

"All my life I wanted to be somebody. Now I see I should have been more specific." - Lily Tomlin

Effective execution isn't complicated, but it's not necessarily easy, either. In fact, most people and companies struggle to execute well. Execution invariably requires taking new actions, and new actions are often uncomfortable.

When faced with a course of action that includes difficult or uncomfortable tasks, the short-term costs of taking action can seem so much greater than the long-term benefits of reaching the goal. Because of this, individuals and entire organizations often abandon both the tasks, and ultimately, the entire strategy. We have found from experience that to execute successfully it is essential to have a strong emotional stake in the outcome.

Without a compelling reason to choose otherwise, most people will take comfortable actions over uncomfortable ones. The issue is that the important actions are often the uncomfortable ones. In our experience, the number-one thing that you will have to sacrifice to be great, to achieve what you are capable of, and to execute your plans, is your comfort. Therefore, the critical first step to executing well is creating and maintaining a compelling vision of the the future that you want even more than you desire your own short-term comfort, and then aligning your shorter term goals and plans, with that long-term vision.

Think about what you truly want to achieve.
  • What legacy do you want to create?
  • What do you want for yourself and for your family?
  • What do you want spiritually?
  • What level of security do you seek?
  • What level of income and fulfillment do you want from your career?
  • What interests do you wish you could pursue?
  • What do you really want to do with the time you have been allotted?

you are going to perform at a high level, take new ground, and be great, then you better have a vision that is compelling. In order to achieve a level of performance that is greater than your current performance, you will need a vision of the future that is bigger than the present. You must find a vision with which you are emotionally connected. Without a compelling vision, you will discover there is no reason to go through the pain of change.

Vision is the starting point of all high performance. You create things twice; first mentally, then physically. The biggest barrier to high performance is not the physical manifestation but the mental creation. You will never outpace your mental models. Vision is the first place where you engage your thinking about what is possible for you. 

You must be clear on what it is you want to create. Most people focus primarily on their business or career, but business is just part of life, and it is actually your life vision that gives traction and relevance to your business. That is why we begin with your personal vision, what you want your life to look like in the future. After that is established, we move on to what your business needs to look like in order to align with and enable your personal vision. The more personally compelling your vision is, the more likely it is that you will act upon it. It is your personal vision that creates an emotional connection to the daily actions that need to take place in your business.
In order to tap the incredible power of your vision you need a future that is bigger than the present. If you're going to create a breakthrough-if you're going to reach the next level-you will need to move through fear, uncertainty, and discomfort. It is your personal vision that keeps you in the game when things become difficult.

A compelling personal vision creates passion. Think about something that you are passionate about, and you will always find a clear vision behind it. If you find you're lacking passion in either your business or in a relationship, it's not a crisis of passion; it's a crisis of vision. We will show you how to craft a compelling personal vision and a business vision that aligns with and supports your life goals.

The first step is to create a personal vision, a vision that clearly captures and articulates what you want in life. The personal vision should define the life you want to live in all areas, including spiritual, relationships, family, income, lifestyle, health, and community. The personal vision creates the foundation for an emotional link to your business and career objectives so that there is a strong alignment between what you pursue in your business and the life you desire to live.

Your business vision is most powerful when it is developed in light of your personal vision. The reason so many people fail to follow through when things become difficult is due to this lack of connection with their personal lives.

Your business objectives are not the end in themselves, but the means to an end. Too often, managers and associates plan for business success but fail to connect with the real power source that will enable them to achieve that success. In essence, the personal vision is the reason why we work in the first place.

Once you understand the linkage between your life vision and your business success, you can define exactly what level of income or production your business must deliver in order to support your complete vision.

Vision provides you with that line of sight, that emotional link, to help you overcome the challenges and execute. When the task seems too difficult or unpleasant, you can reconnect with your personal objections (I think they meant objectives!) and vision. It is this emotional connection that will provide you with the inner strength to forge ahead in spite of any difficulties, thus enabling you to achieve your dreams and desires.

Defining Miracles

White Pasque flower seed head found in New Mexico.
Dictionary definitions of “miracle” include:
  1. a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.
  2. a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.
  3. an amazing product or achievement, or an outstanding example of something.
Regardless of how we define miracles, they produce a sense of awe and wonder and reverence. Those are powerful, positive emotions which make us happier, healthier and more successful in our relationships and friendships.

If our definition of miracles is limited to things like number one above, events like walking on water, raising the dead, or even winning the SuperLotto, we aren’t going to see many of them. Therefore, we won’t have many experiences that produce those positive emotions of awe, wonder and reverence.

Broadening our definition to include number two still leaves miracles in the “highly improbable” zone.

Number three, however, opens the door to a new perspective. Rather than waiting for miracles to come our way, what if we turned the definition around? What if we actively looked for anything that produced the feelings of awe, wonder and reverence? What if we actually cultivated those feelings by seeing the miraculousness in everything around us.

Winning the lottery would be, for most folks, a miracle of the definition-two level. Hoping for that, we buy a ticket and cross our fingers. When the machine says, “Sorry not a winner,” as it does in almost all cases, we feel a sense of disappointment. Disappointment is not a positive, powerful feeling. The more we play, the more we lose. Disappointment grows and steals away our happiness.

For quite a long time, I bought a Powerball ticket once or twice a week, generally when I stopped at a gas station for what I called “candy coffee,” the hot, sweet, caramel-colored, caffeinated stuff that comes out of machines. It became a habit. I told myself it was a small, harmless indulgence. (If you know what I’m talking about, see #1 below.)

What I began to notice about the Powerball tickets was that, even though I did not expect to win, I felt a surge of disappointment when I didn’t. Finally, sanity returned and I broke the gas station fix for both candy coffee and Powerball tickets and shifted my harmless indulgence to flowers.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a dahlia plant from Costco. $12 for a two-foot plant covered with radiant, plumy-violet, saucer-sized flowers. I cut a single stem and put it in a slender glass vase filled with marbles. When it faded, I replaced it with another one, and another. There were enough to share with a friend. All of the original blossoms are gone now but new buds promise another round. 

That plant, for me, is a miracle. It’s a color that I don’t see often and it fills me with awe, wonder and reverence for its beauty, simplicity, and abundance.

As I write this, I realize I didn’t count it as a miracle this week. I should have.

Miracles Defined

In order to have the broadest possible playing field for attracting the feelings of awe, wonder and reverence, the definition of miracles used by Gratitude Mojo is "Unexpected delights that make you say, “Wow!”

Plus Dottie’s Weight Loss Zones provides this information:
French Vanilla Cappuccino, 20 oz (360 calories/13 g fat/2 g fiber/57 g carbs) 8 points (my normal was the 16 oz … 288 calories of pretty yucky stuff. At least the sand didn’t have calories.)

Thought Leader: Jon Kabat-Zinn

Click for Life Is Right Now video.
“Mindfulness is a way of living your life 
as if it really mattered. 
Defined as moment to moment, 
non-judgmental awareness.” 
-- Jon Kabat-Zinn, Life Is Right Now
YouTube video

"The latest research in mindfulness is showing that it is actually possible to pay attention in systematic ways that change the way the brain is wired, changes the way the brain functions, changes the very structure of the brain in ways that enhance well-being, and clarity, and multiple intelligences."

Jon Kabat-Zinn is a professor of medicine emeritus and founding director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program in the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

He is the author of many books, including the best-selling Full Catastrophe Living and Coming to our Senses.

“Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.”

More about Jon Kabat-Zinn: http://www.mindfulnesscds.com/

Click to see on amazon.com

NEW! Gratitude Mojo ... where a few minutes a day sparks a better, happier life

When your mojo is working, 
your energy is turned on and 
things rather effortlessly fall into place. 

Gratitude is feeling thankful

for the good things in your life 

as well as for the tough times and challenges 

that help you learn and grow, becoming 

a stronger, happier, more resilient person.

Gratitude Practice is deliberately

paying attention to 

everything you value.

Gratitude Mojo is understanding that 

 everything is a gift!

 While countless academic studies have proven that gratitude brings us greater happiness, health, and success, it is actually the practicing of gratitude that brings results. Keeping a gratitude journal is a universal recommendation as it not only focuses your thoughts on what you’re grateful for, it is a way of honoring your own life journey.

In order to help everyone achieve Gratitude Mojo, we are introducing a simple system to turn your gratitude practice into a powerful habit. It may seem like a lot, however, it actually only takes a few minutes a day to create amazing results using this full size journal which offers you engaging prompts that make it easy to write about the wonders in your life.

After only three weeks of working with the Gratitude Mojo journal, Barbara Muller wrote:

“This journal stops you in your tracks, giving you space to find the miracles in your life. 

I used Joyce’s first gratitude journal for years but never actually “got it!” Today, I couldn’t stop writing and I was practically weeping with gratitude for my life. 

Gratitude Mojo proves that size matters and gives me space to respond to the many inspiring prompts that call me to look at various aspects of my life. 

I am falling in love with gratitude journaling as it sparks wonder for my own life.” 

— Barbara Muller, PeacePodcast.org

Click here.

Gratitude Mojo is the new, advanced journal for gratitude practice which takes you even deeper into the amazing gifts of gratitude. 

Gratitude Miracles, the 5-minute journal that could change everything! is available at amazon.com. Click Here.

Monday, November 22, 2021

An incomplete thank you for the miracles of the world

2017: On this day as I begin my second year of gratitude practice, I give thanks for where I am and where Ive been and hope this poem makes up for some of the moments of gratitude Ive missed along the way.

for all the people I never thanked:

the authors, teachers, artists, carpenters,

the fighters of fires, the doctors of disease,
those who built the roads through the mountains and deserts,
those who grew the vegetables and fruits for my table,
all the meals and makers-of-meals who went unblessed,
all the garments and sewers and sellers of them 
that kept me dressed,
and the thousands, millions, of other unthanked souls
who have made my life possible, made it a joy.

for all the beauty I forgot to acknowledge:

the mountains, meadows, moonglows and manatees,
the soft summer days, the snow-covered pines,
the cactus blossoms of spring, the yellow aspens of fall,
all the trees I never thanked for my breath,
all the clouds I never thanked for their beckonings,
all the rocks I never thanked for their stories,
all the rivers and lakes, puddles and ponds,
the oceans of water that refreshed my days,
never once asking for my thanks.

for all the people who made me laugh or cry:
the jokesters, writers, actors, makers of movies,
the merry whistlers and designers of Tilt-a-Whirls,
all you bubbling fountains of mirth and magic
who brought forth giggles and guffaws, chuckles and chortles,
tears and torment, glimpses into alien worlds and other hearts,
graciously accepting my laughter and tears as thanks enough.

to all of you ... friends and family,

those recognized and total strangers,
finally and utterly incompletely,
thanks. ... Thanks! ... Thank YOU!

Gratitude Benefit: Forgiveness

Forgiveness is not a simple act, nor generally an easy one. Marina Cantacuzino, founder of The Forgiveness Project, says,
"All too often we sanitize and simplify forgiveness, when in fact it’s an arduous, exhausting task — messy, risky and unpredictable.”
For some people, forgiveness is an interpersonal act and requires remorse and a request for forgiveness. For others it’s part of a personal, spiritual journey. Author Tony Wilkinson states,
"This process (of forgiveness) is part of your inner life, your inner journey and doesn’t depend on them (perpetrators), which is why insisting on remorse before forgiveness puts the power in the wrong hands."
This journal addresses the inner journey of forgiveness and does not take the hard work of forgiving lightly.

Special thanks to the following for their beautiful thoughts on forgiveness: 
Click here.
    Gratitude Mojo is the new, advanced journal for gratitude practice which takes you even deeper into the amazing gifts of gratitude. 

    Gratitude Benefit: Optimism & Generosity

    Christopher Bergland in Psychology Today states,
    “Recent studies have shown that generosity and gratitude go hand in hand, both at a psychological and neurobiological level. Generosity and gratitude are separate sides of the same coin. They are symbiotic.
    "Fortunately, each of us has the free will to kickstart the neurobiological feedback loop—and upward spiral of well-being—that is triggered by small acts of generosity and gratitude each and every day of our lives.
    "Why not practice a small act of generosity today?”
    Special thanks to the following for their thoughts on gratitude and optimism and generosity:
    Martha Beck
    Fast Company magazine

    Gratitude Mojo is the new, advanced journal for gratitude practice which takes you even deeper into the amazing gifts of gratitude. 

    Gratitude Benefit: Passion & Purpose

    "When we brim, when we shimmer,
    when we glow with love for something, anything,
    we become conduits of magic,
    and we ourselves become gifts to the world."

    -- Melissa Studdard, poet

    Researchers focused on developing gratitude and purpose among adolescents report,
    "Whereas gratitude involves recognizing all the good things that someone receives from the world, purpose entails considering how one can contribute to the world around them. 
    “Indeed, we find these constructs work in tandem; when people feel grateful, they naturally tend to turn towards thinking about how they can give back. In addition, expressing gratitude strengthens relationships, which can then help to guide and support the development of purpose. 
    “Therefore, we believe that cultivating a deeper sense of gratitude will help individuals to find a sense of purpose in life."
    From: Fostering Gratitude and Purpose among Adolescents
    We are a team of researchers at Claremont Graduate University (http://sites.cgu.edu/bronk/) and California State University, Dominguez Hills (http://www.csudhnews.com/2012/09/bono-giacomo/). This project is generously funded by the John Templeton Foundation, in collaboration with UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.
    Click here.

    Gratitude Mojo is the new, advanced journal for gratitude practice which takes you even deeper into the amazing gifts of gratitude. 

    Gratitude Benefit: Resilience

    Canadian life coach Ray Samuels defines resilience as “functioning with a sense of purpose, meaning and forward momentum in the face of trauma.”

    An example of that kind of trauma was featured in the commencement speech to UC Berkeley graduates in 2016. Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, told her story of the unexpected death of her husband, her family’s grief, and what she learned in the aftermath.
    “Dave’s death changed me in very profound ways. I learned about the depths of sadness and the brutality of loss. But I also learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again. I learned that in the face of the void—or in the face of any challenge—you can choose joy and meaning.”
    See more about Sheryl Sandberg’s often humorous and tech-savvy speech here.
    See more from Ray Samuels here. 
    Special Thanks to:
    • Click here.
       Martin Seligman, Founder and Director of the Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania 
    • Robert Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology
    • Dr. Joseph Mercola, health expert

    Gratitude Mojo is the new, advanced journal for gratitude practice which takes you even deeper into the amazing gifts of gratitude. 

    Gratitude Benefit: Creativity

    Expressing gratitude for everything in our lives opens us up, makes us look at things in a different way, noticing details, understanding the interrelationships. It keeps us in the moment. We can’t worry about an unpaid bill when we’re thinking about all the ways we’re grateful for the new rose in our garden.

    That kind of attention is fundamental to problem-solving and creativity. The positive regard that we feel when we’re practicing gratitude makes us see things in new ways. A well-worn story in creativity tells us about a man walking through a field of burrs. Rather than rant and rail about the discomfort and inconvenience of being stuck, he thought, “Wow! Look how those little hooks catch my socks.” And, thus, velcro was born.

    The more we practice gratitude, the more we will notice details and connections that will lead to ideas. And, while all ideas are gifts, not all of them are good ones. Honor them when they come, but be prepared to sort the keepers from the losers.
    Click here.

    Special thanks to:
    Gratitude Mojo is the new, advanced journal for gratitude practice which takes you even deeper into the amazing gifts of gratitude. 

    Gratitude Miracles, the 5-minute journal that could change everything! is available at amazon.com. Click Here.

    Gratitude Benefit: Contentment

    It is easy to be grateful for what we have.

    The harder question is how to be content with what we don't have. To say, "This is enough.” Being grateful for every aspect of our lives creates a pathway to contentment.

    Joshua Becker at BecomingMinimalist.com says, “Gratitude provides proper understanding of our place in the world. Gratitude is the feeling and expression of thankfulness for the actions of others that are costly to them and beneficial to us.
    Click here.
    “By definition, gratitude requires humility. It requires us to admit we have been the recipient of something we did not deserve. And it calls us to admit there are no entirely self-made men or women. 
    “Gratitude opens the door to contentment. It pushes our praise to those who rightly deserve it.
     It causes us to focus on the good things we already have regardless of our present circumstances. It improves our well-being in almost every regard. As a result, it is the surest pathway to contentment.”
    Gratitude Mojo is the new, advanced journal for gratitude practice which takes you even deeper into the amazing gifts of gratitude. 

    Gratitude Benefit: Wonder

    Click here to see the amazing video from Louis Schwartzberg.
    One of the most popular gratitude quotes comes from G. K. Chesterton (shown on Week 2). One of his that is not as well known, but is equally great is:
    “You say grace before meals.
    "All right.
    “But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”
     The American Chesterton Society says he was the greatest writer of the 20th century because he was also the greatest thinker of the 20th century.

    Obviously he steeped himself in gratitude. 

    Click here.

    Gratitude Mojo is the new, advanced journal for gratitude practice which takes you even deeper into the amazing gifts of gratitude. 

    Gratitude Benefit: Connection

    We are part of an interconnected world ... connection to ourselves, to each other, to the world of plants and animals, to the inanimate world of oceans and mountains, rocks and clouds. When we feel gratitude for all of those elements, we build our sense of connection and our sense of peace and belonging in the world.

    Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence says this about practicing gratitude: “Gratitude isn’t just an emotion that happens along, but a virtue we can cultivate. Think of it as something you practice as you might meditation or yoga.

    “Gratitude practice begins by paying attention. Notice all the good things you normally take for granted. Did you sleep well last night? Did someone at work or on the street treat you with courtesy? Have you caught a glimpse of the sky, with its sun and clouds, and had a moment of peace?
    “It also involves acknowledging that difficult and painful moments are instructive and you can be grateful for them as well. Directing our attention this way blocks feelings of victimhood.”

    Click here.

    Gratitude Mojo is the new, advanced journal for gratitude practice which takes you even deeper into the amazing gifts of gratitude.