Editor’s Note: Every Friday, I post a Simple Living News Update that includes links to some of my favorite articles of the week. In addition to the update, I answer a reader question via video.
Last week, Jake sent me an email and asked:
How can I start practicing gratitude everyday?
Here’s my response . . .
For those of you who can’t watch the video, here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Write gratitude letters.
2. Make a gratitude date.
3. Express gratitude in art.
4. Express gratitude in person.
5. Create a gratitude journal.
6. Volunteer in your community.
Consider reading “The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want,” by Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky. Practicing gratitude is a key theme in this lovely book. Check it out of your library or buy a copy.
Now onto the news . . .
“People sometimes get a little ragey if you stray outside the norm, or if they catch a whiff of self righteousness. They can see it from a long way off. Getting rid of stuff, living in smaller spaces, reducing income all seem like huge sacrifices. And that’s where folks get judgy. Because when they see something as “sacrificing,” it must mean we are holier-than-thou self righteous dickwads.
But what if it’s not a sacrifice? What if it’s just quietly going our way? These are just choices we make, we know they aren’t for everyone. People have kids. People have houses. People have obligations, and people work hard for the sake of others. These are valid choices. They don’t make someone else’s choices less valid, however. Just different.”
“Writing in a diary was really the only way for me to keep tabs on my intuitions. It was my personal verification of being human, of being mortal.”
“We carry the story of shame into our adult lives. It stops us from saying our truth. It stops us from being daring. It stops us from quitting our jobs or having children without spouses or even from choosing not to be friends with people who drain us.
It stops us from thinking of ourselves and our needs.
It’s internalized so deeply that most of us don’t even recognize it. Our shame is on automatic pilot and it’s stopping us.”
“But the big question on everybody’s lips isn’t what the deal is but why? If I’ve sold over a million books and made close to $2 million dollars on my own, why oh why would I possibly want to give up rights? How could they possibly offer me more then what I’m getting myself?
Is it because I feel I need validation? (Somebody misunderstood my post of my saying “I want to be a writer” to mean that I didn’t feel as I already am one, when in fact I meant, “I only want to be a writer. I do not want be a publisher.”) Also, after selling a million books, making the USA Today Bestseller list, and getting the amount of support from my readers that I get, I feel pretty validated as an author.”