“It is not happiness that makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes up happy.”- Brother David Steindl-Rast, cited in The Book of Joy
In their powerful book, The Book of Joy, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and The Archbishop Desmond Tutu name gratitude as one of the 8 pillars of joy. This is, in part, because gratitude helps us find delight in the small moments of our lives and shift our perspective during the challenging ones. For this reason, I begin each day by listing what I am grateful for. During the day, when beautiful moments occur, I express gratitude so that I can savor them. And if I am faced with difficult situations, I stop and think, “What am I grateful for?” and make a mental list. These thoughts have the power to lift me out of the difficulties of the situation and see them in a new light. By no means is this an easy practice! I oftentimes need reminders to bring gratitude to my daily life.
Today I reflect on my work week and offer my list of places where I found light in both joyful and difficult moments.
On Monday, I was grateful…
that a teacher who has been resistant invited me into her classroom and trusted me with her most fragile learners.
for having an hour to plan for my upcoming afterschool kids’ yoga series.
On Tuesday, I was grateful…
for the nurse who expertly and compassionately drew blood from my daughter at her doctor’s appointment.
for the doctor who listened wholeheartedly as I described my daughter’s symptoms and expressed my fears.
On Wednesday, I was grateful…
for beginning my day with the voices from my Teach Write Tribe.
for taking the time to rest to get over a cold by binge-watching The Crown.
On Thursday, I was grateful…
for the dry cleaner who called to tell me my curtains were ready a week earlier than expected.
for the delight of Ms. Sanders’ Third Grade students when they learned that they were the recipients of a Classroom Library Makeover Project.
And today, Friday, I am grateful…
for an unexpected snow day to reflect, write and rest and read.
There is my list. I invite you to look back over your week, day, morning, and ask yourself: “What am I grateful for?” I would love to hear what you discover.