How gratitude happens (without making a list)
The last thing you need is another to-do. Let me get through grocery shopping, cooking, company, and all the dishes, then maybe I’ll have a moment to ponder what I’m grateful for, right? I hear ya, so... I’d just like to offer something to ponder while you’re chopping veggies and washing glasses. You don’t have to do anything with it until maybe February, okay?
I asked the women who took my course earlier this year what brings them joy. Most hadn’t considered this in years. The best part of the exercise was the realization that almost everything they listed didn’t require big blocks of time. Many were things they were already doing, things that could be squeezed in here and there, and if/when they did them, they felt a whole lot happier.
Almond milk lattes
Coffee + bookstores
Shopping at Target alone
Visiting antique shops
Going to art shows, meeting the maker/artist behind the thing
Deep conversations, can we all just stop talking about the weather?
Writing greeting cards
Hiking with my dog
Breakfast with friends
Calling my Dad
Visiting a hot spring
Planting herb seeds for summer blooming
Making bracelets or earrings for the gift closet
Painting a few times a week
Bringing food to the office monthly
Mentoring R.A. - she wants me to
Yoga with Annette
Organizing the garage
Using the bath salts and lighting the candles
Doing morning pages each weekend morning
Reading my new book
Addressing employee challenges immediately
Giving a load of clothes to Goodwill
Buying opera tickets early
Going out dancing with Karan
Having morning coffee quietly
Fresh air, enjoying nature
Laughing with friends
Listening and singing to the 80s while cleaning the house with my daughters
Savoring a sunset
Trying something new
Traveling some place new
Doodling a little every day
Making something with my hands, anything that's not on a keyboard
After doing this exercise, one of the women said, “Being conscientious of what I love to do encourages me to look for opportunities to do those things.”
I love this because it shifts gratitude from passive observance to proactive creation. Paying attention to what’s in front of us, the reality and opportunity, helps us notice what makes us happy, which gives us a lot more control over happiness than we realize.
Self-awareness is how gratitude happens.
If you’d like to share a few things that bring you joy (in between grocery shopping, cooking, company and all the dishes), leave a comment, now or in February ;)