I am grateful, today, for the blessing of time. I’m glad to have had the chance to sit down for these few minutes of writing.
I’m grateful for the way my wife began her day: speaking to our dog about their mornings being a time to begin the day slowly, easily, in quiet, and hopefully. Positively.
And there’s the way she leaves the house every morning: after kissing me goodbye, she reminds me to smile and practice what social psychologist Amy Cuddy calls “power posing”. (Think of the way Superman stands: chest out, fists planted firmly on hips, eyes raised hopefully to the horizon. Cuddy’s research suggests that standing this way for even a few minutes at a time actually encourages greater confidence. Act the way you want to feel is the gist of it, I suppose.
For Cuddy’s research, and for my wife’s reminders of its usefulness, I’m also grateful.)
I’m taking these gratitudes down because another psychologist, Shawn Achor, suggests that happiness is something we have to predispose ourselves toward. Happiness, according to Achor, isn’t something we necessarily derive from work, play, family, or friends; in fact it’s a state of mind, and thus is something we can consciously choose for ourselves. In other words, it’s something we bring with us to our work and our interactions with others.
Write down your gratitudes. It’s one way to position the positive in the forefront of your thinking. It’s also another way back to the page. The world opens up a little when we’re seeing its shining corners, its goodness. We might find good reason to write, and renewed faith that our writing matters, when we’re writing in service of showing, sharing, or seeking out what makes us grateful.