My colleague Kaja ( who helps me bring these emails to you) has a 4 yr old son.
Sometimes she shares things that he says innocently. I find wisdom in them and that brings a smile on my face. Let me share some that may bring a smile on your face too. She writes in her gratitude journal every night. Because her son is 4, he does not understand the word “Gratitude”, so she tells him that she writes things that bring a smile on her face.
(That is why he has given me the title of “Boss of all smiles” as my picture is at the back of Stress to Joy Guided Gratitude Journal that she writes in)
- “Arms to give snuggles,
- Mouth to show a smile,
- Eyes to see mother’s smile,
- Ears to hear sister’s laugh
- Toys to play with,
- T.V. to watch,
- Music to dance to,
- The sun that wakes me up”.
I thought, hmm, I have done my gratitude journaling for the last 14 + yrs but I have never thought of the Sun as a blessing. Not only does it gives us light and heat, but our existence would not have been possible without it.
The other time, he said; “My tummy is not hungry because I have this banana.”
It made me realize, what a blessing it is to have enough food to eat so we don’t feel hungry.
Did you know some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life? That’s about one in nine people on earth. The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries. Among which 12.9 percent of the population is undernourished.
According to the USDA, this is not just a problem in the developing world. Even in America, more than 41 million people face hunger, including 13 million children.
You may know that Muslims have recently finished their month of Ramzaan when they fast for 30 days. One of the purposes of fasting is to develop the realization of how important the blessing of food is. And also to develop empathy for people who don’t have it.
Most traditions have some ways of giving thanks for the food.
I grew up saying “Shukar” which means thanks at the end of each meal. Although I write about being grateful for the food in my journal every morning, sometimes I forget at work when I am eating during a meeting or on the go.
Since my colleague has shared this list with me, I have become more cognizant. I have decided to make special efforts to say my thanks every time I eat, even when I eat during a meeting or on the go.
So, what brings smiles on your face?
Would you start asking your kids what brings smiles on their faces that they could be grateful for?
Would you start saying thanks for the food you get every day?
Let me know what you do to keep your focus on things you have rather than things you don’t? Gratitude practice in any form can train your brain to be positive. It can help you be happy and grateful no matter what life presents to you.
Dedicated to your health and happiness,
#1 Best Selling Author, Speaker, and Psychiatrist
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I share many tools and techniques that I have found to be helpful. They are not intended to replace treatments. Please seek treatment from licensed medical or health professionals as needed. I change all names for privacy.