A Lesson in Gratitude

June 30, 2016

I have a question for you today: What are you grateful for? Right here right now. What is bringing you joy?

It’s a simple question really, but when your heart has been torn apart by the loss of child or the emptiness of infertility the answer is probably not at the tip of your tongue.

I am guessing you probably don’t feel grateful for much anything these days at all.

Am I right?

I know because I’ve been there. Standing exactly where you are.

Almost 3 years ago in early September, our daughter was stillborn after the discovery that she had an array of medical anomalies. Even as I felt the world crashing down around me I made it my mission to find a way to get out of bed every day and continue living.  For that I was thankful. Something as simple as getting out of bed that day and taking a shower was an accomplishment.  From there my desire to share gratitude snowballed. I was thankful for my cup of coffee each morning, for a husband who held me each night as I cried myself to sleep, for my camera that helped me see the world through fresh eyes, for baked goods, for beautiful weather, and for data plans on cell phones. I took a picture of each thing that brought me even just an ounce of happiness. To remind myself that even when life is dark, there are still small things that light me up and bring me great joy.

So, let me ask you again – What are you grateful for today?
Need a little help? I have an exercise today that will help you uncover some of these hidden gems of gratitude and happiness. Ready?
•    Get out a pen and paper.
•    Number it from 1 – 10.
•    Write your “Top 10″ gratitude list. What things are you thankful for? These can be big things or small things.
•    Grab a camera, any camera will do.
•    Take the next few days and photograph the items on your list
•    Create a gratitude collage. I recommend the collage tools at iPiccy.com.

Try to remind yourself that for this exercise it really isn’t about taking beautiful photos. It’s about reflecting on the things in your life RIGHT NOW that bring you the tiniest bit of JOY. The things that make your heart sing and make you feel ALIVE.

What’s on your Top 10 list? I’d be ever so grateful if you’d leave me peek at what you’re thankful for today.  Inspire us all by posting your thankful images and words in the comments below. And if you’d like to explore finding gratitude, exploring photography, and gaining a new perspective after loss I encourage you join me for the next Illuminate e-course set for September 2012.

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