Secret Sauce: Gratitude Practice

Every morning, with tea. There, I said it. Committed.

Practicing gratitude is more than saying something nice here or there. It’s a discipline. It requires repetition. Regularity. I’m not a “maintenance” kinda gal. My impulse is entrepreneurial, start-up, a stunning initiation to a project, and putting it to sea. So this takes fortitude, building a practice. But damnit! I’m committed. I’m committed to practicing gratitude.

Practicing gratitude is a magic mist that floods my consciousness, enhances my life, opens doors, takes away misery, makes this wide happy fulfilled feeling that spreads through my core like cotton candy at the fair–Every Freaking Day.

Want happy? Practice gratitude!

I tried a digital version. I made a gratitude notebook in EverNote, and tried to add a gratitude note every day. That’s one way to do it.

There are binders, spirals, composition books, leather-bound journals, you name it.

My most successful gratitude practicing happens like this: a homemade journal with colorful pens, every day. It rests in a handy spot in my office most of the time. When I travel, it fits neatly in my computer bag. Maybe it looks ghetto, but I’m loving it!

In fact, the loose rings travel so well, and are so flexible for a range of projects, I’m starting to think of them as remotely chic, or quirkily alluring. My bookshelves are getting littered with homemade journals, downloaded manuals, all sorts of goodness–using a box of 1″rings.

Here’s what I use: card stock cover, printer paper middle, 3-hole punch, 1″rings, and colorful pens. (Of all these supplies, what I’m most curious about from you is this: how toothy of a printer paper middle do you use? If you know what “tooth” is when it comes to paper, and what you use for a homemade gratitude journal, then already I love you!).

A healthy gratitude practice starts with a list of three to five items every day.

At first, my list was external, and mostly centered around other people and resources: “I’m grateful for my creative children. I’m grateful for my supportive husband. I’m grateful for a walk with my friend in nature. I’m grateful for a beautiful, sunny day.”

These days I’m adding items that recognize and reinforce self-actualization: “I’m grateful for the online course I purchased and am working through. I’m grateful to myself for following my curiosity and creating the life I love and find fulfilling.”

I hear the ultimate goal is to be grateful for everything, which reminds me of reading Zen Shorts, so I definitely approve: “I’m grateful for the job I have. I’m grateful I didn’t get the job I wanted. I’m grateful I don’t have a job. I’m grateful for this day. I’m grateful for my creative children. I’m grateful my spouse is grumpy. I’m grateful that I failed. I’m grateful I’m creating the life I love. I’m grateful that love is all around me, in me, and through me. I’m full of love today, and I’m grateful!”

Seriously?

Yes.

Here are two printables for making your own gratitude journal.

I hope either one propagates your gratitude practice.

I dream of a world where we are all grateful. A world without conflict is impossible and uninteresting. But a grateful world? Fine by me. Let’s make more magic in the world! One incantation begins like this: “Today I’m grateful for…” Let’s practice gratitude.

If you’re practicing gratitude, what works best for you?

How toothy is your paper?

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