A Discipline of Gratitude


Entry #7: September 30, 2017 – A Discipline of Gratitude

I’ve read quite a few articles on gratitude over the past couple of years. I think it must be a trendy topic. I believe that gratitude is an important part of keeping our emotional and spiritual dimensions in balance. I also believe it is important to develop a discipline of gratitude.

It is so easy to get in a funk and lose a sense of joy and wonder that keeps us moving forward. This morning I was feeling a bit stressed. I was feeling the stress of a new teaching year and the stress of my post retirement plans.

I could feel tension in my body and a sense of anxiety pressing around me. I didn’t feel like expressing gratitude. I felt like I wanted to eat chocolate and take a nap. Even though I didn’t feel like doing anything, I’ve developed a discipline of expressing gratitude while jogging or driving. Gratitude is part of my measurable action plan that I follow. That means I’ve committed myself to this discipline even when I don’t feel like it.

Jogging and driving are two consistent activities I have built into my life. By including expressions of gratitude as part of these routines, I have been able to develop a “gratitude discipline” without much extra effort.

When I jog or drive, I start expressing gratitude by focusing on the first letter of the alphabet that comes to my mind. When I started jogging today, I noticed a leaf. I focused on things I was grateful for that started with the letter “L.”  I thought about how grateful I am for laughter, the smell of lavender, lazy Saturday mornings, and life-long learning opportunities.

When I focus on a few things for which I am grateful, I can feel my spirit open up. I can feel joy and hope. For me, gratitude is an act of the spirit. It connects me with not only the present moment, but with something much bigger than me. I am thankful for the daily discipline of gratitude.


I am an associate professor of communication in Southern Oregon. I'm also an ancient spirit who has learned how to create positive changes in my own life and use unexpected changes to become more of the person I believe I am meant to be. My vision is to help empower others by sharing how to dream big and develop measurable action steps to achieve those dreams.

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