Robert Emmons, perhaps the leading scientific expert on gratitude, writes that gratitude isn’t just about acknowledging the goodness in one’s life but also “recognizing that the source(s) of this goodness lie at least partially outside the self.”
Psychology Professor Nancy Fagley says,
“The challenge in fostering appreciation,” she says, “is that we want to periodically reflect on the positive aspects of our lives, value our friends and family, relish and savor the good times—without the practice of reflection becoming a rote habit or something that is taken for granted.”
She suggests people
“focus on and value what they have, spend time outdoors, and reflect on their blessings and relationships with others.”
Mornings can be hard. You wake up. You know there are a gazillion things you could be doing, but it’s overwhelming. Start with one thing. We don’t have to conquer the world. And, that’s a good thing. We can start small. What is one thing on your “list” that’s bothering you. Why is it bothering you? Does it seem huge? Break it down. Start with one thing. Every cell in our body contributes to how our body functions. Every person in the world contributes to how it functions. How do you want this world to be? How do you want to be in this world? Start with yourself. Start with kindness. Start with love. Start.
“Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the everyday things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.” – Booker T. Washington
“Booker T. Washington, President of the Negro Industrial School, Tuskegee” Photography by Strohmeyer & Wyman Collection of the National Museum of African American History & Culture, 2011.155.205
Open your heart to love. See your fellow human as just that. Use the Prayer or St. Francis as motivation today, to open your inner spirit to the unity we are meant to have.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.