What is Daily Gratitude Habit?
A place to help you develop a daily gratitude habit + encourage the sharing of research + stories to illustrate the benefits of gratitude.
To help boost kindness, positivity, well-being and connection through gratitude
Every year I’ve written a poem on Thanksgiving for my family. Thanksgiving 2020 has called me to create something much farther reaching … to give us all strength to find the lessons and blessings every day, even when our hearts might be hurting. I’ve created this space to encourage a daily gratitude practice and an opportunity to share relevant research + stories of gratitude so that we may help one another cultivate this daily gratitude habit vs. just the annual thanksgiving pause.
2020. It’s been a tough year for all of us.
In addition to all the challenges associated with living through a pandemic, we lost our great patriarch, my amazing grandfather, who lived over 100 years and shared so much with so many. He graced and inspired us all with his wit, humor, work ethic, worldliness, knowledge and commitment to family and career – serving his patients for over 70 years. He always told me “the older you get, the faster life seems to speed by,” so he encouraged and thanked me for writing my annual Thanksgiving poems because it reminded us to slow down and smile. He helped keep my dear late Nana alive in our hearts, as we spoke of so many beautiful moments and memories including her constant reminder to me that “life is not a dress rehearsal… This is it!”
And so it is. We can wait until things are better… or we can choose to notice what IS beautiful and kind and good right now. In this very moment.
I dedicate this space to you, Nana and Papa. And to all our ancestors and loved ones who will forever live on in our hearts and how we show up in the world. Let us collectively honor them by slowing down and taking time to thank the people in our lives right now while we can. For how they’ve helped us grow or how they’ve inspired us. I thank all of my family and friends for reaching out this year. For contributing and honoring Papa/Leizer for his 100th birthday celebration in April when I put together a compilation of video greetings from around the world after the pandemic forced us to cancel his big party. He was humbled and loved it and I’m so glad he was able to hear from each of you. I thank you for all the love and comfort and kind words when he struggled with and then beat COVID. I thank you for the outpouring of kindness and empathy as he left us in October, reminding us that even in our grief we can honor him as we go forth and live with purpose, generosity and zest.
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” — Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Your next steps....
Thank you for reading this and sharing. Please consider sending me your stories, musings or poems about gratitude. But more importantly: commit to a daily gratitude habit – whatever that may look like for you. Maybe it’s just taking a deep breath when you wake each day and thinking of someone or something you’re grateful for. Maybe it’s a more formal journaling practice. There’s no one right way. I know this may not feel easy right now and that we’ve all had plenty of days this year where it’s easy to feel like “why bother.” But it’s because everything is so heavy and difficult right now that I feel it’s even more important to take a stand for creating this tiny habit to choose positivity and light.
Why a website/blog ... and why me? 🙂
I started “blogging” back in November 2006 while I was on bedrest for 2 months in the hospital. I’m not sure very many people knew what blogging was, but I was trying to keep the family updated – and yes, it was a very difficult time. My two-year-old was at home and was constantly saying “go see Mama.” And my heart was breaking. But I kept shifting to find the light and see the positives, remembering the precious new life I was growing. Our beautiful girl was born safely, and these blogging efforts evolved alongside my parenting journey. What started off as S.P.A. Time Mom became S.P.A. Time Living. SPA stood for Self-care Promotes Ability: ability to thrive and serve at home and work. But the conversations online shifted to how to find the time. So the next pivot was creating Chaos Cleanse… on how to create space. It was then, and still is, too easy to fall into the “I’m too busy” trap and get caught up in the daily fires of “need to”s and “should”s. It’s too easy to end up in “react and respond” mode to life, vs. creating our days with intention and attention. I fell into this trap as well, while my website and my efforts lay fairly dormant. Also, I still wasn’t crystal clear on the “what” and “why.” Well, 14 years later, I am clear. I’m clear that we absolutely have time for creating the basic habit of gratitude that helps us cut through all the excuses of no time. Gratitude truly can shift our attention and help give us more intention to show up as our best selves and make the biggest difference in both our personal and professional lives.
I’m a lifelong learner, especially fascinated by all areas related to optimizing ourselves as humans – both personally and professionally. A few academic/professional accolades include:
- B.S. Exercise and Sport Science
- MBA Organizational Development
- Doctoral Studies: Psychology
- Certified Tiny Habits® Coach
- Co-author of books: Finding Fulfillment in the Spiritual Age (2013) and 101 Great Ways to Compete In Today’s Job Market (2013)
Additionally, I’ve completed certifications as an emotional intelligence assessor, 200-hour yoga teacher training, mindfulness-based stress reduction and the list continues … as I’m a perpetual student and seeker of wisdom. And after all these years and all these practices, I keep coming back to one tiny foundational habit that absolutely everybody has time for: gratitude.
My mission here is to create space for this powerfully simple tool of gratitude… to help us navigate challenges and stress and give us strength to still thrive and spread kindness. I know there are and will continue to be hard moments, hard days, hard months and hard years (OMG 2020!!) but I am hereby committing to practicing, sharing & encouraging a daily gratitude habit so that I/we don’t miss the beautiful moments sprinkled in everywhere. Because this IS life.
So please share. I’d love to hear from you. You can share on Instagram or FB if it supports you. Or I’d love if you’d like to partake in our interview/story series.