here is a sample:
and – another one!
Losing the tv remote can be a good thing. (Really, we didn’t fake it.) The morning was more creative, less argumentative, and they “forgot” to have the morning snack they usually think they need.
“Without gratitude, love cannot endure.”
This quote stood out to me in the required reading for an adult learning class on Mussar ” a traditional Jewish path of spiritual development that leads to awareness, wisdom, and transformation.” That week’s topic? Gratitude, which happens to be a vital element in Core Phrase #4 in Happier Made Simple‘s chapter about Appreciation.
Three things come to mind:
1- Resist the temptation to take things for granted. Whoever gets up first in my house makes the coffee. These days it’s often my husband, even though he switched to tea months ago. I always, always thank him for the coffee. It’s such a joy to come downstairs and smell the caffeine. A relationship gets stronger with every sincere thank you.
2 – Express the gratitude whenever possible – don’t keep it inside, don’t make someone guess. I first heard my daughter say “I appreciate you” to the man who later became her husband, and I love how that sounds and what it means. When you are grateful to the person and not just for the task done, it adds another layer of positivity.
3 – Appreciation is the opposite of contempt – One study on marriage ( Drs. John and Julie Gottman) found that the strongest indicator that divorce might be near was the attitude of contempt, as expressed in gestures like eye-rolling. Imagine what might change, if we could catch ourselves before expressing contempt, and substitute appreciation instead.
Judaism changes with the times, but one practice in its roots is the concept of everyday blessings for simple situations. An early form of the “gratitude list” – but expressed many times in a day, in the moment. I don’t spout Hebrew prayers all day (don’t even know those prayers), but I love the concept. My days are richer when I look for appreciation moments instead of trying to remember it all and make a list before bed (which seldom seems to happen).
In my book, I also talk about thinking how we are grateful to other people (as well as a higher power if you wish), and not merely grateful for.
This simple change can add the element of Engagement and Connection to Appreciation.
No one is an island.
Say thank you. Or I appreciate you. Your relationship will be stronger for it, your life richer.
Thank YOU for reading this, and for any stories you care to share.
What is Happier Made Simple really all about?
It’s about little changes that can make a big difference.
Like: the words we use when we talk to ourselves, and to others.
Like: trying some actions even before they feel like second nature- and noticing what happens.
Like: taking small, consistent steps until you reach your goals.
I’m thrilled to let you know that I’ve finished writing the book Happier Made Simple: Choose Your Words. Change Your Life (Shortcuts to more Serenity in a Complicated World)
How? One 30-minute writing session at a time.
The road to publication is in progress, too, and here’s where you come in.
You can get a sneak peek by:
1- joining the new facebook page
2- listening and subscribing to audio messages – link below to one
3 – signing up for my mailing list to stay informed.