Gratitude, making your own happiness, part 1 of 3

My good friend Matthew left formal religion as a non-believer. This was a big problem for his wife, who consequently dumped him, moved away with his kids, and remarried. He counseled me a lot as I was newly divorced.

I sought that out, because his divorce was amicable and he refuses to be miserable. What happened (losing his wife whom he adored, and his very young kids moving to another state) is the kind of thing many people spend a lifetime recovering from.

But he’s made a choice to be happy, make a cool life for himself. He has found meditation and gratitude exercises to be life-savers. He gave me an awesome Tony Robbins Gratitude CD a long time ago. You can’t listen to it and stay in a gloomy place.

Today I just want to write five things I’m thankful for. I hope you’ll do the same.

One, I am so glad I have my four beautiful kids. They all have quality friends and activities they excel at. They have fun, unique personalities and I learn from them every day. I made a goal today to not allow myself to say anything that “corrects” them (i.e. constructive criticism!) unless I’ve said five positive things first. Parenting thoughtfully has taught me creativity. Just now, I said to Ten, “I am going to be SO proud of you when you start putting your Lara Bar wrappers in the trash–I’m excited about that!” instead of “Why did you throw this on the floor again?”

Two, I am thankful for a healthy body that serves me well, never lets me down. It lets me play tennis, run, and my latest fun thing–Zumba dance.

Three, I am thankful I live in the Rocky Mountains, one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I have a beautiful view of nature every day. Snowy, green, yellow/orange, depending on the time of year–I love it year-round. Sundance / Provo Canyon are my “happy place” on my skiis, bike, or feet.

Four, I am thankful for beautiful and unique friends who each contribute something valuable to my life, make me laugh, help me see things differently, and teach me stuff as I sit with them in negotiating their life’s trials. That includes my internet friends–every one of you who contributes here. (And even you lurkers–love you, too!)

Five, I am thankful for meaningful work that I love. I get to help people, write, travel, and eat good food, in my job. How could I ask for more? I always have a choice: and I choose to focus on what I have, not what I don’t.

I would love it if you would undertake this exercise–here on my blog or privately. I have a few comments tomorrow about creating your own happiness.

14 thoughts on “Gratitude, making your own happiness, part 1 of 3

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  1. I am thankful for Yeshua my Messiah, who died to save me.

    Thank you, Yahweh!

    I am thankful for my wonderful husband and for 10yrs of married life together, not always easy but I have grown so much through it. Thankful for his words of love and praise, told me this morning I was drop dead gorgeous, let’s just say I am not!;)

    I am thankful for our four beautiful children. Three living and one asleep in the grave. Love them all so much.

    I am thankful for our families and the heritage they have given us.

    I am thankful for a warm place to call home, food in pantry, clothing in the closet and the LOVE that makes our house a home.

    Finally, I am thankful for Robyn and all the research you !

    Thank you!

  2. Thank you Robyn! I think we all need to be reminded now and again of all the beautiful things around us to be thankful for. Reading your blog was a great way to start off my day.

  3. 1. I am thankful for my children because I have been truly blessed with two very different personalities that show me the meaning of life.

    2. My daughter’s health ~ dental surgery yesterday and recovering very well.

    3. A husband who stuck by me through two bouts of PPD and numerous other health crisis.

    4. My family who loves me for me with my faults and to whom I love despite theirs.

    5. My husband’s job ~ without which I wouldn’t be able to stay home with my babies and have the fun/frustration that I do. I am thankful that he is working his dream job as a police officer and is willing to lay his life on the line for someone he doesn’t know.

    6. I am thankful for people like Robin who open doors of knowledge and who help fuel my courage to turn down things like flu shots. Keep on going Robin.

  4. So very thankful for the forgiveness of Christ, my Lord…and thus have a new life in Christ! not by works of righteousness but by his mercy he saved us!

    So very thankful for the opportunity to enjoy the blessings all around me, daily ~ whatever form they take ~ on this earth.

    So very thankful for the coziness of the love of family, which again, God is responsible for!

    So very thankful for what I’m learning about health & nutrition this past year from people like you!

    so very thankful for guidance & Gods hand in the rest of my days………

  5. I am thankful for a God who would send His Son Jesus to die on a cross so that I can have eternal life. Because I read in the Word of God a long time ago, that if Jesus had not died for my sins I could not have this eternal life so to Him I am eternally thankful.

    I am thankful that God blessed me with a loving husband who loves God and me and our children.

    I am thankful that I can see the fruit of God in my grown children, and the things that we instilled in them is just awesome.

    God is good and He loves you all.

    Thank You!!

  6. I am thankful for my husband Kevin.

    I am thankful for my 2 wonderful kids Ava Rose & Erich whom keep me going.

    I am thankful for my loving mother who has recently become my best friend.

    I am thankful for my counselor Helen and friend Joni who kept me in this world.

    I am thankful for wonderful upbeat people like Robyn in my life.

  7. Hello Robyn,

    1. According to the gospel of David, we should all measure our success in life, by the amount and quality of the love and appreciation we feel for others. You add to my success because every time I read what you have to say I feel such love and appreciation for you. I admit that I think you are hot, but that is not what I am talking about. I see you working to connect with your spirit (God self, Inner being) and helping others to do the same, which is in alignment with me. I see the raw food/whole food life style as means to take down bariers that prevent us from connecting to God. When I eat beef I have trouble sleeping, because I feel the animals anxiety from being killed. When you eat meat on a regular basis you don’t make the connection of the anxiety to the meat, so blame others for causing your anxiety, when in fact it is caused by the anxiety hormones you ate for dinner. The anxiety causes divorces, murders, reliance of government to control the actions of others, etc., but the most important issue is our ability to connect with God is diminished, which in turn results in we and our friends and neighbors doing things that really are hateful. Although I don’t feel warm and fuzzy about L.Ron Hubbard he was right about one thing “Clear Body Clear Mind”.

    2. I am thankful to live in the most exciting time in the history of earth. We are living in an explosion of information. Not only is the information there, it is also accessable to just about everyone we know. My father had to put up with years of dribbling urine, radiation treatment, castration etc. due to prostate cancer. I probably don’t need to do that because I have access to information that he did not. Yes knowledge is not enough, I have to make the lifestyle changes needed but at least I have a choice.

    3. I am thankful for bigger than one man entities, like Grainger and McMaster-Carr. Although God may not be a respector of Persons these fictional entities do provide an effecient means of access to what we want. For instance were if it were not for Time Warner Cable or a bigger than life entity like it, I would not be making this blog right now. I buy organic carrots from Costco’s for 50 cents / lb. to make my morning juice. I could grow carrots in my garden but when I do, it takes a lot of time effort and space. My carrots are pathetic and few, while Costco’s are beautiful and incrediably cheap.

    4. I am thankful for modern conviences, like a warm house, good car, screws, tape etc. Some time ago at work we were interviewing a man from Russia. He wanted to distribute pressure sensitive tape there. We asked him what size of rolls they use in Russia. His response was: “The market is wide open, we don’t have tape in Russia.”. Have you ever thought about what it takes to make a drywall screw yet we have access to them by the thousands even though it might take us days to make one by hand.

    5. I am thanful for the natural systems without which we could not exist. The Sun, Plants, Water etc.


  8. Robyn: I am so thankful for lots of things.. .

    1. Thank YOU for being so REAL! I love you for it..

    2. My husband of 20+ years cheated on me some years back and I had a breakdown – – I was so shocked and betrayed by it. Out of the ashes of that horrible mess. . . culminating with me spending two months in hospital – – I’ve now grown MUCH Stronger. I take care of and honor ME.. . and I’m first in my life. I have no children. . but do have pets.. and they are my babies.. I’m still with the cheater for now.. BUT if he ever did it again I’m dump him in a heartbeat.. I LOVE who I have become as the result of this tragedy, and I thank you for sharing your divorce.. because I always try to believe that everyone is so happily married.. and that is not always the case..

    3. I am thankful I learned how to take care of my physical body. I look and feel younger at 56 than I did at 30. I love simplicity and doing simple tasks and activities. They make my life rich with meaning.

    4. I have no family other than the cheating spouse.. but I love MY life now and know it will only get better and better from here. I am REAL and Stand for Truth. All the nonsense and games people play no longer have any impact on me.. for that I am truly grateful. . and for all the information you share so freely. . Life is beautiful when lived thru beautiful eyes.

    Many blessings for a Happy Thanksgiving to you all.


  9. I live in gratitude every day because even with life’s challenges there is always something to be grateful for.

    Blessings to all.

    Gina G.

  10. Thanks for doing this!

    1. God’s grace

    2. His word and the newness of it each day. Without that I would have no clue how to navigate this world.

    3. An amazingly loving husband of 24 years

    4. 4 wonderful, creative, mature, giving kids

    5. Plant foods and the delicious way they keep us all healthy

  11. The things I tend to remember on a regular basis are the biggies…family, health, etc., but I am trying to be more conscious of the quieter blessings in life like getting up to a new day today and having the opportunity to embrace the choice of doing something better than I did yesterday. Like feed myself and my family better today. Be sympathetic to my body by exercising it today. Do something kind for someone outside my circle today. Suddenly it all sounds much more enticing!

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