Gratitude TreeWorking with WeGush, you grow acquainted with the science of gratitude and the practice of gratefulness. But, you know what? It’s hard. I have fallen into a trap because of conveniences, a busy lifestyle, and also a very human (and imperfect) motherly disposition to sense that things will go wrong or won’t get done. Stress, complaints, and nagging are good signs of this trap.

In order to avoid this trap, experts recommend creating a gratitude journal, with a collection of thoughts and affirmations that remind us what’s good and right around us. Each entry in the gratitude journal becomes a leaf in a gratitude tree – those familiar inspirational campaigns we find in the news from special communities that are meant to engage visitors or neighbors to show their support for others. My gratitude tree is an everyday reminder to not take things personally or dwell on the small stuff:

  1. When a traffic jam makes me late, it is a good opportunity to see that I’m not alone; others synch with me in my morning journey and my destination.
  2. When my favorite cardio machine spot at the gym is taken, it is a good opportunity to try a new machine, or even better, a zumba class that leaves me energized throughout the entire day.
  3. When my older son calls from college asking for favors, it is a good opportunity to show him that I’m one of his many life supporters (and also a chance to turn “I told you so” into gently advice).
  4. When someone cuts in line at the grocery store, it is a good opportunity to catch up with celebrities’ highs and lows by glancing at magazines headlines.
  5. When my dog needs me to take her out in the middle of a hectic task, it is a good opportunity to pause and enjoy fresh air.
  6. When having lunch with friends and the restaurant doesn’t carry my favorite soda, it is a good opportunity to try the many benefits of water.
  7. When my phone dies in the middle of the day, it is a good opportunity to disconnect from the tyranny of technology and to try something better, like talking to people face-to-face.
  8. When my daughter needs her personal space, it is a good opportunity to pamper myself and do my nails.
  9. When my credit card is rejected while vacationing in Florida, it is a good opportunity to prevent charges from Spain or India.
  10. When the special needs of my little one get harder, it is a good opportunity to re-prioritize my day, check on what’s important, think about him, and what makes his day better.

I’m grateful for everyday opportunities to avoid stress, complaints and conflict with my busy lifestyle. I rather think that the universe is giving me feedback to look at someone in the eye, smile at them, and practice gratefulness in my own way – and mean it.

Warhol Quote