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Happiness Project Online Bookclub: Gratitude

August 19, 2016

One of the biggest challenges for me is just to “be still and know. . . .” I fight the lie that multi-tasking is a virtue, but I stay pumped up on my own adrenaline rush that’s part of my nature.  One bit of self-discipline I am employing is paying attention to the natural world–giving my full attention.  Since my dear late friend Sam used to tease me about looking down all the time for four-lear clovers (I have a completely useless gift of seeing them at any distance and speed), I’ve made a conscious point to spend more time looking up.

Last week during the meteor shower, I took pillows and a blanket out on the desk and just watched (and counted, of course). Even with the city lights around, I saw at least 25 “falling stars.” It is hard to explain why just lying there is a challenge for me.  I had to fight the urge to get my Playaway audiobook.  Instead, I just looked and listened and reveled in the vast universe.

This week on Wednesday, I ended up at a table of folks discussing gratitude. Some of the others’ comments motivated me first to acknowledge and second to share my gratitude. One newcomer to Nashville shares her gratitude through letters to friends “back home” and she revealed that she had witnessed her mother-in-law’s lifelong practice of keeping a gratitude journal, even when hospitalized at ninety.

One of my sweet friends back in North Carolina regularly shares her own awareness of her blessings.  In her presence, I always benefited from her positivity. I’m happy that she continues to dole it out across the miles.

That old song “Count Your Blessings (Name Them One by One)” should be my mantra. Remind myself. Share with others. Be thankful.

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