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How do you express Gratitude?

Years ago I read that Oprah kept a daily gratitude journal so I started one. After all, when Oprah spoke generations of women listened, right? When she told us to head to Nordstroms to get fitted for a bra, I discovered I wore the incorrect bra size. There were millions of us!

There was no downside to being grateful on a regular basis. As a writer I felt the daily journal would be my natural format. It wasn't. I felt it was a forced practice and I needed to find something that felt more organic. Believe me, I gave it my best shot for a year. Sitting down every evening to remember 3 things I was grateful for that day felt like homework.

I decided to adopt a conscious and constant 'attitude of gratitude.' I trained myself to look for the tiniest thing to be grateful for every minute of every day. If a client praised me in an email, I was grateful. If I passed a beautiful flower growing in a neighbor's garden, I was grateful. When a driver let me into traffic, I was ready to kiss him. You get the idea. I was grateful to the people who wrote, grew or acted kindly but I also had gratitude for the Intelligence that brought us together. I connected my gratitude practice with a chance to be Mindful.

When difficult times come, it's easy to lament: 'Why did this happen to me?' It's more productive to say: 'I am so grateful to have these elements (loving family, great friends, fabulous medical staff etc.) in dealing with the challenges of this time. I'd love to hear how you express gratitude. If you love keeping a gratitude journal, please share how you approach it so that it is a fresh experience.

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