The "Pick me up folder" - Easy Gratitude Tip

>> Friday, April 3, 2009

What do you do when you're having one of those days when it seems nothing you do or say turns out right? The milk curdles in your coffee. You can't find your keys. The boss found another mistake in your report. The cat barfed on the rug -next to your side of the bed. You ran into an old friend and gushed over when her baby was due - only to be told 3 MONTHS AGO!

Try looking in your pick-me-up folder. What?! You don't have one or know what it is?

Every once in a while you get an email or note from someone that makes you smile. Your boss gave you a atta-boy for a job well done...A colleague sent you a message thanking you for your help...your children give you a handmade card for no other reason than to say I Love You. You get the idea.

Right now, (go ahead, I'll wait) create a folder (electronic for emails or manila for paper) and start to store those feel-good tidings there. When you're having a crappy-shoulda-stayed-in-bed-kinda day, reach for your PMU folder and browse through the kudos and accolades. You will feel better in no time once you're reminded that you're not such a bad guy after all.

After this works for you, don't forget to send me a note of thanks and gratitude to put in MY folder for a rainy day ;)

photo by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ flickr


Experience Schmerience

>> Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Experience doesn't matter - throw out all your ideas of what you think you need for the job, and put your energies into having the right attitude.

Now, I'm not saying that the thousands you put into your Yale diploma is for naught but who do you think you are going to gravitate towards? - the sad sack who drags into the room with shoulders down, dreading the task before him, devoid of any confidence but has a Ivy League background or the chipper, chin-up, rookie who feels good about himself and it shows?

When I was a manager for a customer service dept and needed to interview for a position I would look for the sparkling candidate. The one who walked into my office bouncing, stuck out their hand first and beamed.

Resumes can be thin, backgrounds can be incompatible with the position but....The right person can be taught. Anyone with enough motivation to succeed and learn can be taught.

Who are your sparkling prospects?

Who are the eager puppies always clambering for a treat...give them the job. Chance are pretty good it will be the right choice.

What do you need to do to give yourself that air of distinction? Put your thoughts into building the right state-of-mind and you might just be surprised of the outcome.


Dude, Where's My Gratitude? guest post byJennifer Louden

I'm writing this miles above the earth, sitting in a steel capsule, hurtling through space on my way to give a speech. (Writer Anne Lamott says she doesn't believe in flying. I know what she means.)

The title of my speech is "Creating All That You Need With Just What You've Got", which as many of you know, is the subtitle of my book, The Comfort Queen's Guide to Life.

When I choose the title for my talk, I was thinking only about giving the hospital a catchy title to draw people in. I had not given much thought to the actual content of the speech. What I sat down to prepare, to think about what I really wanted to say, I became very curious. I sat and stared out at the blustery afternoon, wondering, "How do you create all that you need? Is it possible? Isn't it what we all want?"

Here is what I came up with -- the five paths for creating all that you need with just what you've got.

1) Show up
You can't create anything if you aren't here in the present moment. We create from the present moment. We problem “solve” from the past.

2) Gratitude
As my friend and brilliant coach David Martin says, "Gratitude is the mood that opens up our creativity." (more on gratitude below)

3) Self-Nurturing
How can we create anything if we don't believe we are worth it? How can we believe we are worth it? Through sustained, gentle, compassionate healthy self-nurturing. Search our site; we have over 500 articles on self-nurturing.

4) Listening
A regular practice of listening to ourselves, to our own wisdom, to our own bodies, to our intuition, to Spirit, and to others is the only way to discern the unfolding path of our lives.

5) Receiving
Perhaps the hardest practice of all. We love to give. We all want to make a contribution with our lives. But how often do we allow ourselves to simply accept -- the ideas, the offer from a friend, the compliment? When we block receiving, we block God.


You are in a mood right now. What mood is it? Check in with yourself. Moods prime us for certain actions and not others. Resignation and resentment are moods that point us toward giving up, blaming, slumped shoulders and limited options. Gratitude is a mood that points us toward softening, opening our eyes wide, and beginning to wonder with curiosity and love what we can create to give back, to create more of this wonderful feeling. Gratitude brings us into the present moment, helps us show up for what is right now.

Here is the best story I've ever read of the power of gratitude, from a reader of mine. Sue had moved two years before to a new life of her choosing, yet not without regrets. She had returned to her former hometown on business and had a free moment to drive through her old neighborhood. Sitting outside her house, she writes, "Looking at my old house, this wave of grief for what I had and was not grateful for, for what I had and was not present for, washed over me. I saw a parade of moments of grace and beauty and meaning that I had canceled out because I either told myself, "I'm not good enough to have this, I shouldn't be this lucky" or "This it's not enough, that woman over there has a nicer body and she lives in a bigger house and she has children and why should she have that and not me?" As I sat in my rental car and I cried, and I cried, and I cried with grief, suddenly I was overcome with a wave of gratitude that literally broke my chest open. I could feel something give way in my solar plexus as I realized, with my entire body, I have so much right now."

The Practices of Gratitude:

  • "You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, and swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in ink.” -G. K. Chesterton

  • Say grace not just before meals, but before any activity that matters to you.

  • Create a Gratitude Calendar and express gratitude each month for a different subject like People You've Known or Artists or Nature. Each day take a moment to express your gratitude for something or someone that relates to that category.

  • Write a thank you note or email to someone every day for a month. Your partner, your plumber, your 3rd grade teacher. Don't make it long, just make it heartfelt.

  • Fill Post-it notes with gratitude quotes and place them where you are least likely to feel gratitude: your car during rush hour, a folder you will open during a contentious meeting.

  • Watch your talk -- when you find yourself complaining or blaming, close your mouth. Do not finish your sentence. Take a deep breath. Show up. Now find one thing TO SAY OUT LOUD that you are grateful for. Dude, that’s gratitude and it’s just what you need.

Jennifer Louden is a best-selling author of five books, including her classic, The Woman's Comfort Book, and her newest, Comfort Secrets for Busy Women. She's also a creativity and life coach, creator of the Inner Organizer, and a columnist for Body + Soul Magazine. She leads retreats on self-care and creativity around the country. Hear her live on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius Channel 112 every Sunday at 8 am Pacific, 11 am Eastern. Visit her world at:


Back to TOP