Funny Thing About Gratitude

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As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change toward him. - Gandhi

I’ve talked a lot in my posts about gratitude and my new-found habit of keeping a gratitude journal. It’s hard to believe I have been practicing active thankfulness just a handful of days shy of two months.

Can I tell you a secret? I absolutely love it. Each day, for a few moments, I sit with just a pen and a journal and ask myself, “What am I thankful for today?” Some days, the list is in my mind before I can even get the book open to the right page. Of course, sometimes it may take a little bit longer. I like to make a game of it, maybe imposing rules like — “I have to include one thing (and only one thing!) about my family, one thing about life in general and one thing about work.” Other days, I just let my mind wander, and I follow along jotting down the first few things that come to mind. Or maybe I will try to focus on really big things for a specific day. That what of the list doesn’t matter as much as the repetition.

Want to know a funny thing I’ve learned through the 50-some-odd days of recording my thankfulness on paper? The simple process of being actively grateful is making it easier to recognize all I have to be thankful for.

 

Perfect example: My sister and I sing in a community chorus together. One night, my throat was a bit scratchy, and she offered me a cough drop. I was totally surprised to discover the wrapper was dotted with messages telling me not to give up on myself, to push forward, to keep on keeping on. What a great idea! People who need a cough drop probably don’t feel well, so why not, the company thought to ask themselves, why not provide a little pep talk along with the dose of menthol?

I really had to wonder: are there times I wouldn’t have even noticed this added dose of human-kindness? Can I add encouraging words to something I am doing anyway? The company was going to print the wrapper. Their logo is all over it. All they did was take the time to throw in a little extra dose of happiness.

That’s pretty cool in my book, and it’s a thought process I’d really like to emulate. How can I make the world a little sweeter, a little kinder, a little more of a place we might all want to be?

Of course, that’s the heart of what Dana and I are trying to do through The Pink Typewriter Project, but it would be awfully easy to have the blog compartmentalized over here and my life in the real world over there. I don’t want it to work that way though! My hope is that I’m growing through this process and sharing the journey so that maybe you’ll be encouraged on sad days or find an unexpected smile in your Facebook feed or email inbox.

The quote from Gandhi above says that if we change ourselves, the world’s attitude toward us will change, too. I wonder, though, if the changes we make only cause us to realize how blessed we already were.

 

REMINDER: Take part in our Thanksgiving challenge!

To encourage you on your journey of gratitude, Dana and I have decided to challenge our family, friends, and followers to trying a week of gratitude, and Thanksgiving seems like the perfect time!

For the week of Thanksgiving – Monday, November 23 to Friday, November 27 – we challenge you to five days of gratitude.

Each day, we will post what we are thankful for and will look for what you are thankful for in the comment section of each post. Everyone who leaves us a comment on each of the five daily posts will have their name put into a random drawing for a 2016 In the Garden of Happiness Planner! We both have this planner and have already started using it. It is beautifully illustrated with fabulous quotes each week to keep you moving toward a more mindful and happier you!

Please share this contest with your family and friends so we can gather more inspiration and they can have a chance to win!

If you have any questions about the contest, please put them in the comments section below, and we will answer them. We can’t wait to hear what you’ll be giving thanks for this year!

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