A New Perspective on Gratitude
In 1996, I picked up a book that would have a significant impact on my life, albeit I didn’t know that at the time. The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude by Sarah Ban Breathnach did more than teach me about gratitude, it lifted my sense of awareness into another realm of thankfulness. While the book offered plenty of space to record a daily list of five expressions of gratitude, it also offered over a hundred “Often Overlooked Blessings.” From that point on, I sought out the blessing within the blessing…within the blessing. From the smallest things in life to the magnificent ones, I found a deep sense of appreciation.
A day after the ball dropped in New York City and confetti fell into the hair of partygoers, I was in the studio at NBC-WKYC-3 talking up ways viewers could gain a new perspective for the new year. At the end of the interview one of the hosts asked me inspire the audience with some advice and I went back to that basic lesson. Watch it here.
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions.
The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”
- Zig Ziglar
I’ve spoken to some friends and colleagues through all of the turmoil happening in Washington D.C. and beyond and it’s understandable that fear and anger are the leading emotions. Ask the mother of three that took on extra jobs during the government shut down. Ask the young adult with more college debt than he’ll make in the next ten years. Ask the families where both mom and dad are working and still can’t catch up. But even during these rough times- actually- especially through these rough, uncertain times, finding gratitude can soften your life. Finding something to be thankful for can shift your heart and mind toward abundance over scarcity.
Each morning upon waking I speak favor over five gifts in my life (I still follow Breathnach’s advice, of recalling five things). Throughout the day, I continue to say “Thank You!” During the times when things were uncertain, I was losing more than I was winning and I didn’t see relief in sight, I was still so very appreciative for the hundreds of small and large blessings in my life. Keep leaning on the goodness in yourself, in others and in the world, your life will reflect that which you seek.
“Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” Alice Walker