My first intentional gratitude project started as a Lenten promise. There are traditionally forty days in this Christian season which are marked by fasting, and other acts of penance, prayer, and charity. After my crash course in the power of gratitude, I wanted to explore the possibilities of a concentrated gratitude effort. My intention: 40 thank yous per day for 40 days. The challenge: Don’t repeat a thank you.
Admittedly, I was nervous. Was this a promise I could keep? Would I run out of things to be grateful for? To my surprise and relief, the more I expressed gratitude, the more I found to be grateful for. Gratitude has momentum!
Day after day I dispersed appreciation at every opportunity – through verbal thank yous, silent blessings, and good deeds. In two weeks time I noticed a shift. Suddenly, everyone wanted to be with me. My kids and husband would seek me out, sometimes just sitting in my office with me while I worked; friends called me more often than usual… Even I enjoyed my company more because I was appreciating myself. For example, “I’m grateful for my feet that carried me through the day without complaining.” I suppose the attraction that resulted from my intense appreciation shouldn’t have been a surprise. We all want to be with people who appreciate us. Could the key to peace and happiness be that simple? Why not?
If we conjure up the fortitude to adopt gratitude as a way of life, no matter what, we begin to see life as a gift. Be grateful for the good and the bad. See everything in life as a gift. Say thank you when you want to scream, “Why me?!”
There exists hidden treasure for each of us to discover; gold buried under the rocks in life. Are we up for the hunt?