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Monday, February 22, 2010

Grateful beginnings

GRATITUDE - warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; very thankful

I woke up a bit early today, thanks to Jessie's swift kick in my back. She woke up last night and asked for me so I went in to soothe her and, of course, fell asleep beside her. Lately if she calls for me, at some point later she is pushing me out of her bed. She wants all the space to herself. It is so interesting how much of a treat it was to have her snuggled up against me. A year or so ago, I was wondering if she would ever sleep on her own and now I am at the point of wishing she would need me more often! Ah perspective!

The abrupt rousting also enabled me to have a few minutes to enjoy the magic light of dawn and sip some coffee by myself. It isn't yet a morning ritual but I am lately fortunate to have this special time alone at least a few times each week. I love hearing Rob's snores and sighs beside me as I contemplate the coming day. Knowing that today was the start of gratitude week had the time occur as even more special. I am truly grateful for our life together. 

Last gratitude week I finished the week off distinguishing that the fear of losing what I have kept me from feeling fully grateful. I wrote that instead of avoiding this fear I would try instead to use it as a cue to feel gratitude. Afraid Jessie may get sick... feel grateful for how she is so vibrant and healthy. Afraid the planet is dying... feel grateful I have the chance to be here and do something (recycle, invent, encourage activism) about it. Afraid the economy will crush us... be grateful we have enough and each other.  

I also wrote, " I feel like gratitude, once confined can actually breath a bit. I am definitely looking forward to its 13 week simmer here in my game. " and the promptly forgot about the whole thing. Or so I thought! As I sit here this morning I realize the "simmer" I instructed my unconscious to consider has actually opened me up for a larger appreciation. The fears I feel no longer seem to have a grip on me, in the same way, and I am far better able to get in touch with my gratefulness. For this reason I have decided to start where I left off and re-visit the same Bliss Initiatives I came up with last time.  
Image from

Remember, the "Bliss Initiatives" are color coded in purple for quick identification. They are specific things that you too can try, if you want to play along with me. However, because as Earl Nightingale says, "you become what you think about," even if you only follow along, and never take on any of the bliss initiatives, I expect some positive results. I will be exploring and encouraging GRATITUDE this way:

  • Practice Gratitude - There is a ton of information about the "practice" of Gratitude out there. It has become positively mainstream in the spirituality and self development world. What I mean this week when I say I will practice Gratitude is that I will be keeping a Gratitude Journal. When I am near my computer I will also post the things I am Grateful for over on, a pretty fun community that calls itself "The Happiest Place on the Internet." It is a little bit like Twitter except people only share things for which they are Grateful. I linked it to my TouristMom Twitter account too (I am TouristMom in both places) so if you follow me there you will get my Grateful tweets. As I mentioned in an earlier postso far I've resisted the urge to compound my internet affliction with a hand held device, so I will not be able to update on the go which could be fun... perhaps by the next time Gratitude week rolls around! [Note: I still have not upgraded my phone so I will not be updating when I am out and about.] Ultimately I think it will be fun to see how much gratitude I can generate by keeping my journal. 
  • Gratitude Rock- In this Bliss Initative I will revisit something I did during my Joy Week, which is to carry a pocket charm. Over at Think Simple Now they called the same practice carrying a Gratitude Rock, with these instructions:Find a rock that feels good in your hand. Name it your ‘gratitude rock’, carry it with you along with your keys and wallet. The idea is to remember and say “Thank You” for something in your life, each time you touch or see the rock. For example, when you empty your pocket at night; when you pack up your things in the morning; when you reach for your keys. An actual rock is not necessary; you can use anything small as a figurative representation.   
  • Gratitude Boost - each day I will listen to at least one grateful song. Terrific Gratitude Playlist provided by FIQL PLaylist. [For some reason, I can't get the player to post here this time out, so please refer to this post for access to the player.]
  • Spread Gratitude - This week I am going to make a point of thanking people who have helped me, provide a service or otherwise make living a little bit better for me. It is something I think about but rarely do... send a note to the boss of that particularly helpful employee, tell my gardener I think he is doing a great job, tell that new neighbor she has been welcoming and nice. I'm getting out the thank you cards and I'm writing some!!!  Susie Michelle Cortright writes in her article Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude  Say "Thank You." Whom in your life do you appreciate? Let them know, whether it's your mom your kids, your friends, your husband, your child's daycare provider or the helpful woman behind the cosmetics counter. A heartfelt "thank you" often does the trick. Make it a habit and your attention will suddenly turn to all the things people do for you.
Next Post: Grateful musings

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise


  1. This is inspiring! Thank you for taking the time to share something so real!

  2. Well, I am grateful for your generous mention of my blog in your last post. How very nice of you, and I appreciate it very much.

    Now I am going back to reread this post as I am not feeling too grateful today for some reason. . .

    See ya later!


Thank you "very so much" (the construct I stole from my 3 year old!) for your comments! I reply to every comment. I will ALWAYS reply over here on the blog so if you haven't heard from directly please do check back here. If you become a Disqus member you will be automatically updated via email as well!

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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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