What I’ve Learned From My Gratitude Project
Before October started, I made a list of 31 people I wanted to write thank you notes to express my gratitude for them being in my life—friends, family, mentors, even our pets’ veterinaries. Each day, as part of My Gratitude Project, I wrote what I was thankful for that this person brought into my life. Some times it was thanking someone for reading my writing, which I’m so appreciative of, or thanking someone for welcoming me into their home for a good meal. Other times, it was deeper, like thanking my mom for teaching me how to save money and how to be an independent woman.
It’s funny. In both November issues of Real Simple and O, The Oprah Magazine (two of my favorite publications), there are feature stories about the power of gratitude. Real Simple is even offering a Gratitude Challenge during the month of November. A regular practice of gratitude, as noted by Real Simple‘s feature “Why Gratitude is Great,” can make you feel happier, healthier, more resilient, boost your energy levels, and improve your relationships. Not too shabby, huh?
Mid-way through the month, I went through a health crisis that threw me for a loop. I was really sad, but even through it, I wrote my notes. You know what? These moments of gratitude got me through the next few weeks when I was deeply sad. There was something meditative about thinking about making someone else smile. Friends would email or post on Facebook that my notes made their day. Honestly, these moments gave me the strength I needed to see the bright side of a bad situation.
My Gratitude Project taught me that gratitude heals. Gratitude brings others happiness. Gratitude has the power to change.
This experience isn’t just a monthly experiment now. It’s now my new habit. I’ve ordered more thank you cards from Etsy, and I’m ready to dole them out.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you pay it forward by saying thank you to someone in your life!