Remains of the List

My mailing list, that oft-considered holy grail of people who do at least part of their business online – so, basically, just about every business – on this first day in the GDPR universe, has a whopping 25 subscribers. One of which is me, thanks to mild OCD that makes me distrust that the emails really went through unless I see one as a subscriber. So, 24. There’s a time when that would have given me apoplexy. Or at least led to an online rant accompanied by a not small degree of stress eating. There was a small rant, in fact, a few days ago, when I sat down to sort through the labyrinth of legalese and advice that would – hopefully – make the online part of my business satisfactory to the European Union by clearly declaring what I’ve done since the beginning: treat the information of my website. . . .

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Can a Grateful Heart Save Your Life?

Can keeping a gratitude journal prevent you from having a heart attack? Several researchers have discovered a connection between gratitude and heart health and are digging deeper to discern the how and the how much. A significant body of research reveals a link between gratitude and physical health – think connection, not causation. Grateful people, for instance, experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier, according to a 2012 study (https://www NULL.psychologytoday NULL.com/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201504/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude). They’re also more likely to do health-positive things like exercising and getting regular check-ups. Grateful, Complaining or Random Psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough looked at the gratitude-health connection by having study (https://www NULL.health NULL.harvard NULL.edu/newsletter_article/in-praise-of-gratitude) participants write a few sentence each week on an assigned topic. Depending on their group, participants reflected on things that happened during the week for which they were grateful, things that irritated them, or things that affected them with no. . . .

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gratitude at work classroom musical instruments

Do You Know More About Gratitude at Work Than a Fifth Grader?

I learned about the power of gratitude at work from a bunch of ten-year-olds. A strange thing happened at the beginning of what became my final year teaching middle school music. The new fifth graders thanked me. After every class. Sincerely and authentically. Thank you for teaching us. Thanks for a fun class. Thank you. Not every kid, every class. Enough, though, to have a significant impact on me during that otherwise difficult school year and on my understanding of the power of gratitude at work ever since. If they were adults, it would have been easier to brush them off. No big deal, just doing my job.  Wanting to set a good example, though, as well as being truly grateful for their positive interactions, it was natural to respond with thanks of my own. Their expressions of gratitude boosted both their positivity and mine. We didn’t waste energy trying. . . .

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begin with thanks gratitude practice

Begin with Thanks

When I was a brand new coach, one of the first things I did was a lead group coaching course on gratitude. Two people signed up. I was thrilled. I taught and coached. They showed up fully and shared with courage and compassion. We learned. We grew. We supported one another in community. We connected deeply, with one another and with ourselves. Each of us transformed gratitude from a nice idea that we said we wanted more of in our lives to a meaningful practice that fed us and fueled us and opened us to make space for more joy in our lives. I loved leading it. They loved being a part of it. A few years later, I put it out into the world again. Three years in a row. No one signed up. Thank goodness. Caught up in the bigger, better, more, more, more mentality that I’ve seen. . . .

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Notice the Good

Gratitude is hard to come by sometimes. I mean, there’s plenty to be mad, sad, and afraid of these days. There always has been, of course, and likely always will be. Lately, though, events and actions that create emotions we think of as negative have seem to be coming more fast and furious than the snowstorm that hit the northeast this week. And yet. There’s as much – even more, perhaps – opportunity to notice the good. Gratitude has been whispering in my ear a lot lately, which feels odd a bit odd. And yet. Gratitude keeps showing up. In the light lingering longer into evening. Before last week’s time change. In that snowstorm, which not only wasn’t as bad as predicted, but showed up on a day when I’d planned to work at home anyway. No commute! Boo-yah. In new connections with kind, smart, committed others and new opportunities to. . . .

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