Practicing Gratitude


Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.~Dalai Lama

I know I haven’t been posting much lately. Last Monday I was set to write a post and discuss some new writing prospects while sharing more of my freelance articles, but in the end I decided it would be too weird.  In light of the recent events happening here in the U.S. I have been at a loss for what feels “appropriate” to say both on my blog and across social media platforms.

Somehow talking about my writing or blathering about trivial day-to-day details, or even aggravations, while they may be normal topics, seem wrong to me at this point. Instead, I’ve stayed silent for a while and took a cue from several other bloggers I follow.

For the past several days I’ve been practicing gratitude.

Each day I try to find at least one thing I’m grateful for. Sometimes I write it down, other days I say it out loud, and there are times when I simply concentrate on several grateful thoughts. Other times I try to express my gratitude through pictures via Instagram or I add to my Gratitude board on Pinterest.

No matter the format I choose to express my gratitude, the end result is the same. It inspires thoughtfulness. It makes me pause and observe my surroundings. It helps me see things in a different way.

What surprises me? The things I am grateful for are small. Flowering trees. Quiet spaces. Natural remedies that soothe aching feet.

I think in focusing on the little good things in our lives we are more equipped to deal with the bigger things. Gratitude doesn’t make loss and tragedy permissible, but it works as a salve on our souls.

If practicing gratitude sounds like something you’d like to participate in, or if you already do, I’d love to hear about your practice in the comments section, via email amanda (at) amandabretz (dot) com or through Instagram by using the hashtag #gratitude and @ mention my user name @amanda_bretz.