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Gratitude from A to Z November 26, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness.

Stef shared a terrific idea for constructing a Gratitude List on her delightful uplifting blog . . . Smile, Kiddo.  

Stef’s technique offers a perfect way to return our focus to the NOW after being a “million miles away.”

Instead of sleepwalking through life, lost in thought about This, That, and The Other Thing, keep focused on what is offered Here and Now.

As you move through your day(s), find specific things to be thankful for . . . on a moment by moment basis.

Instead of creating a generic list of blessings (family, friends, health, etc.), be specific.

Keep your eyes, ears, and heart open to notice everyday miracles ~ the laughter of children, the smile of a friend.

When we remain alert to THIS moment (from Awakening to ZZZZ’s) we see all the goodness, wonder, and beauty around us.  For example, my A to Z Attitude of Gratitude List for today would begin:

A ~ Awakening to the promise of a new day
B ~ Breathing in fresh air, breathing out the toxicity of Black Friday
C ~ Coffee (‘nuf said)
D ~ stepping onto the Deck to greet the sun
E ~ Energy and Enthusiasm to move ME from point A to point B
F ~ watching birds Fly high through the sky . . . never asking why
G ~ Going to the beach to listen to a Steel Drum Band
H ~ Little Blue Heron eating breakfast al fresco outside my window


Keep adding to the list as you move through your day.

Take note of the marvelous threads that add rich vibrant color to the tapestry of life.

We can only live happily ever after on a moment by moment basis.

If you reach the end of the list before you reach the end of your day, start over.  If not . . .

Z ~ climbing into bed to enjoy some re-energizing ZZZZ’s

When we take the time to focus on all the good in life . . . we crowd out less productive thoughts that drag us away from THIS moment.

Be Here Now.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Granny’s Saturday Smile (Granny1947) * The Milestone Mirage (Kate Shrewsday) * Garden Party Hat (Flying G’ma) * Happiness Project (Love Out Loud) * Thank You (Uphill Writing) * 22 Things I Appreciate (Joss) * Shout It Out (Creating Reciprocity)


1. walterwsmith3rd - November 26, 2011

Nancy again, you have touched the Spirit with your words of wisdom. There IS so much to be grateful for… all the things that bring our lives into meaningful and joyous existence. And yes, we need to train our minds and our sight to “see”.

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

Exactly! It’s TRAINING the mind to let go of non-productive and unhealthy HABITS . . . and develop positive an uplifting HABITS that add to our happiness and enthusiasm for life rather than pulling us away from all the good around us.

2. Lisa Wields Words - November 26, 2011

I love your list so far, and I loved Stef’s post. Time to focus on my gratitude alphabet for a little while.

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

The more you do
The better you feel
So lets give thanks
For every meal . . .

And sunrise
And sunset
And smile
And . . .

3. Arlee Bird - November 26, 2011

A continual attitude of gratitude is something we should all strive for on a daily basis. It’s great advice and following it would lift one’s soul. The world would be a better place with this outflow of positive energy coming from more of us.
Blessings to you!

Enjoy my delightful interview with Susan Kane on
Wrote By Rote Saturday 11/26

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

Thanks, Lee. Retraining our mind to be More Mindful of the Moment adds depth and delight to our lives. 😀

I’m heading out, but will check out your interview later today.

4. flyinggma - November 26, 2011

I’m reading several books on Gratitude. Love this idea. It’s something that is practical and doable. Thanks for sharing.

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

Not only does focusing on Gratitude make us feel better . . . but it retrains us to FOCUS on the specific pleasures that fill our days to the brin with good things.

5. Sandra Bell Kirchman - November 26, 2011

Nancy, I love this post – so down to earth and practical in such a positive way.

Did you think this sentence up? (We can only live happily ever after on a moment by moment basis.) If so, you are a genius. It gives me chills. Even if you didn’t think it up, it still gives me chills 😀

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

Thanks, Sandra. As for the sentence, I honestly don’t know.

I believe that I “borrowed” the thought from somewhere, but I don’t know where. I just googled it and most of the hits sent me back to posts on SLTW.

6. Piglet in Portugal - November 26, 2011

I wish one of my friends would focus on the now and be thankful. She has become an empty shell – disapeared. The lights are on but you look in her eyes and there is no one in. She doesn’t move therough the day she drags her feet and is a real drain on one’s positive energy. I think I will suggest this idea in an effort to persuade her to refocus 🙂

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

It’s a great exercise to remind us to really FOCUS. If it doesn’t interest her, you might suggest that she grab a camera and go out on a scavenger hunt to find scenes that resonate with her.

My best guess is that she’s got lots of non-productive thoughts flowing around inside that are telling her that “the best years are over” . . . that “people are disappointing” . . . that she’s “not good enough.”

Once we mindfully pay attention to the “tapes” playing in our head . . . we can record over them.

7. Julie - November 26, 2011

What a great exercise! I will do this on one of my upcoming Gratitude Sunday posts!

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

Perfect! I fell in love with the idea. I’m used to “counting my blessings” . . . but the list has become rather generic. This gives me a chance to really hone in on which things made me happy TODAY!

8. granny19471947 - November 26, 2011

I am grateful that I am going to have a nice hot shower.
Read a good book.
Drift into sleep in a warm bed.
Thank you for reminding me.

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

Oh, that triumverate sounds lovely . . . hot shower, good book, cozy bed. Enjoy!

9. Carl D'Agostino - November 26, 2011

Making that gratitude list from time to times puts us in place very well. AbsolutZy.

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

I often focus on all the “good” in my life . . . but the “NOWness” of this exercise really encourages me to focus on THIS moment and the next. And doing so almost always improves my general outlook on life.

10. kateshrewsday - November 26, 2011

What a lovely, positive idea, Nancy!

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

Thanks, Kate. When I saw it on Stef’s blog, I fell in love with the idea. Too cool not to share with others.

I ~ Interesting conversations at Skinny’s Anniversary Party
J ~ Joyous encounters with kids drawing in the sand
K ~ Kindred spirits with eyes that sparkle
L ~ Laughing with BFF at the “Reindeer!”
M ~ Mild weather conducive to shorts and flip flops
N ~ No SNOW!

11. lifeintheboomerlane - November 26, 2011

The thing about gratitude journals or gratitude lists is that gratitude begets gratitude. The more we become aware of what we are grateful for, the more items we discover that belong on that list.

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

Exactly. It turns our focus from “what isn’t to our liking” to “what is exactly as we wish it to be.”

And that makes us feel better . . . creating an upward spiral of energizing thoughts and inspiration.

12. sufilight - November 26, 2011

Very nice! 🙂 I find that as I cultivate the habit of sincere gratitude, the one that makes me feel my heart getting warm, the easier it becomes as a way of life. I am grateful for the walk we took today and the beauty of the Fall leaves.

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

So true, Marie. The easiest way to change the world is to change our perspective. Changing our habitual way of thinking improves our life for the better . . . even if NOTHING ELSE changes at all.

13. Team Oyeniyi - November 26, 2011

What a lovely concept! Might try that!

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

You could play a game around the dinner table ~ like the “I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to take . . . apples, bananas, carrots, etc.” game with everyone adding something from the next letter of the alphabet.

“We’re enjoying life and are grateful for . . . awakening, breathing, coffee, decktime, energy, FAMILY, etc.”

14. Stef - November 26, 2011

Nancy, thank you for the callout on your blog! I’m glad the alphabet method of gratitude resonated with you. It definitely helps me stay present, and pulls me out of a funk when I’m feeling ‘down’ for no good reason. 🙂

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

Thank YOU, Stef. I had FUN today working on my alphabet list. Looking for good things to add to my list kept me present and focused. Great exercise for when we are feeling less mindful than we want to be.

15. Cindy - November 26, 2011

Ah yes … that’s much better 😀 (Loved your ‘family photos’ post xxx)

nrhatch - November 26, 2011

Thanks, Cin. I’m glad that you’re enjoying your new position at the Salon . . . but I do miss your daily posts.

16. adeeyoyo - November 26, 2011

If we do this it will be impossible not to be happy at the same time, Nancy. They go together, gratitude and happiness!

nrhatch - November 27, 2011

Yes! It’s hard to be unhappy when we always see our glass not as half-full or half-empty . . . but as OVERFLOWING. 😀

17. Andra Watkins - November 27, 2011

Something I’m going to try to do every day.

nrhatch - November 27, 2011

If you’re already HAPPILY engaged in the Present Moment, keep dancing through life.

If gloomy intrusive thoughts appear on the horizon . . . nip them in the bud by practicing your ABC’s. 😀

18. Naomi - November 27, 2011

Love it, thanks Nancy! Please say hello to your little blue heron for me 🙂

nrhatch - November 27, 2011

He’s lovely . . . with lime green legs. 😀

nrhatch - November 27, 2011

And he must have heard our exchange . . . he just flew in and landed on the deck railing! 😎

19. munchow - November 27, 2011

A wonderful post and I really like your list of gratitude. It’s so easy to lose contact with Now and I think your advise of being specific about what to be thankful of this moment is spot on. Thanks for making me focus on the Now.

nrhatch - November 27, 2011

Sometimes we need to focus on the forest. Other times, we do better to hone in on the specific trees, flowers, and critters in front of us, while allowing the totality of the landscape to blur.

But as a photographer . . . you already knew that, didn’t you? 😉

20. jannatwrites - November 27, 2011

What a fun idea. I think of things I’m thankful for every day, but this is a great way to stretch and acknowledge things that may not be in the forefront of my mind.

nrhatch - November 28, 2011

Same here. This exercise reminded me to give thanks AND stay in the moment ~ two birds, one stone. 😉

21. LittleMissVix - November 28, 2011

Great idea!

nrhatch - November 28, 2011

Be Here Now. 😀

22. cuhome - November 28, 2011

I like this one, a lot !!

nrhatch - November 28, 2011

It’s a cool way to stay in the moment and look for the good.

23. ElizOF - December 7, 2011

Beautiful post and I love the ZZZZzzzs; a much needed refresher. 🙂

nrhatch - December 7, 2011

Zzz’s izzzz good! 😀

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