So here’s a quick exercise guaranteed to shift you into gratitude, no matter how cranky, overwhelmed, or scared you might be.
Go ahead and write your Acknowledgements section.
This is the part of the book, often tucked in at the very end, where the author pulls aside the curtain and shows us how the book got written. I’ve always loved reading these, partly because they’re always so touching and partly because I’m insatiably nosy.
They read like love letters: Thanks to my beloved editor, who saved me from my own excesses of literary fancy, and thanks to my amazing babysitter who wrangled the kids so I could write, and thanks to our dear friends who fixed my computer that time when I hadn’t backed up my five latest chapters and I was having a meltdown…
I love these tiny, intimate glimpses into what it takes to get a book born. And I can’t wait to write my own.
And in fact, while I was dreamily contemplating who would make this list, and how I would make just the right private joke so that they knew how appreciated they were, I discovered that simply running through the people in your life like this is enough to turn on an absolute flood of gratitude.
Even perhaps some wetness around the eyes, as is wont to happen when you open them wide and look.
Take five minutes and a scrap of paper and do this right now.
If you had created a masterpiece, something really wonderful that was the culmination of great effort and bravery, and gave something precious to the world, who would be in your Acknowledgements section?
What would you say to them? The friends that make you laugh when you could howl, the aunt who believed in you, the mentor who gave you that crucial piece of wisdom when you were at a crossroads, the lover who set you free…. start listing them, just real quick, right now.
As your hand scrawls across the paper, let your heart tilt and open too, and let the richness of your own life pour in. It’s always right there, just waiting to be tasted.