Posts Tagged ‘gratefulness’

Solutions to our problems

January 29th, 2018

Got problems? We all have, but what’s there to do?

We need to see the big picture and understand the problem before finding a solution

My January has had its ups and downs, especially regarding hearing bad news about family and friends, especially about their health.

But I have to balance that with new clients and new beginnings. Maybe your day, week or month has been like that, too. – full of decisions, full of positives and negatives. Life is usually a balance of good and bad, in the end.


At the end of the day the question is always what am I going to do about what has happened? How am I going to process my morning, my day, my week…? Personally, I do two things: I go through the problem-solving set of steps I have made for myself and then remember my “3-a-day”. I bet you have problems and hard days, too, so maybe my steps will help you!

Wrestling with the problems

What about the hard issues at work, at home, etc?   First ask yourself: Is it really a problem? Do I let the issue go? Do I fix it, or can I find someone else to fix it? Or must I continue working with the problem for a longer time, working on finding an answer or someone who can solve it?

Question one: Is it really a problem? (Evaluate the issue)

First things first, after all. Sometimes our issues are only perceived as problems, but when looked at from another angle, they are actually not problems at all. I had one of those recently. Because I could realize that it wasn’t a problem, I slept well last night. Sometimes it is a little problem, too, and not worth my energy, at least at the time.

Question two: Can I solve it? And how?

Some issues are worth my time (and saving money on a professional); some are not. Some problems are best left to my friends and family to help me solve them.

Some issues are, for the moment, “unsolvable” and then what am I going to do? Steven Covey reminds us to focus on our circle of control. What can I do about it? I may have to let the issue lie, do some research on it, or let it go. Last week I let something go. At least for the time being, it is “not in my radar”, anymore.

There is an upside of not “fixing one problem: because I could let one problem go, I was able to focus on and solve another problem. That solution went on my gratitude list for the day. What a great feeling to have solved a rather complicated issue, and all by myself! I had a great feeling of accomplishment.

Here is a step-by step way of dealing with your problem:

So, if it is a real problem and I have to solve it now, there is a first step of finding out as much as you can about the problem by asking even more questions, for example, the 5 Whys, or using What, Why, How, Where, Who and When:

  • What do I want to achieve, what are the facts, what would happen if no decision were made? Or no solution found? What do I need in order to find the solution?
  • Why do I want to have a solution? Why did the problem happen? Why do I need a solution?
  • How will the situation be different with a solution? How relevant is the information I am gathering? How can I involve others? How can I find out more about the problem and the solution?
  • Where did the problem begin? Where is the impact? IS the “where” important, and if so, why so?
  • Who is involved? Who cares about the situation? Who is affected? Who needs to be informed? Who am I trying to please, if anyone?
  • When did the problem arise? By when does there need to be a solution? When is the deadline for (any) action?
  • The 5 Whys: is a technique to find out the cause – and effect – of a problem. Why is asked 5 times, each time using the answer as the base for the next why. The car isn’t starting: why? The battery is dead: why? The alternator is broken: why? It’s belt has broken: why? It was old and had not been replaced: why? The owner had not followed the schedule for part replacement. (this is the root cause)

Then it’s time to identify solutions. That is a great place to be at, as then you can decide if you do it, do some of it, or delegate it. Then you choose the best solution and break it into manageable steps. Then you try out the solution and evaluate it, refining it. Repeat ad infinitum.

Questions that are well-placed can gain great insights


Keep on Problem-solving, remember FLEXIBILITY and Gratitude!

Keep trying the solutions, and keep working on the questions. Because more than one of my problems is large and on-going, as they are something almost totally out of my control, I work on other problems that are more “solvable”, and then do what I can, waiting until it’s the right time to address the other issues.

Thus, flexibility helps a lot with bigger problems, try this, try that. Wait. Then try again another way. Ad infinitum.

My 3-a-day Gratitude List

The three a day gratitude list is a “to do” I not only do myself, but tell everyone I know to do it, as well: friends, clients, and colleagues alike. So ask yourself: “What am I grateful for today?” Then write it down on paper. Some people even keep a gratitude journal. The writing by hand is important, trust me. This will help you focus on the positive at the end of your day.

Still got problems? Me, too!

But don’t worry, if your problem is to be fixed, it will be. By me? By you? By friends, colleagues family? By another? Be assured it will be fixed, one day. Then you can put the answer on your 3-a-day list.

Enjoy the rest of your week, despite your issues!

Patricia Jehle

Grateful for Expertise

January 23rd, 2018

Experts are needed and we should be grateful for them!

I am very grateful for the experts in our world, as googling can only get us a very short way in life. Personally, my life has been saved by medical experts and I am taught by experts how to be a better educator, a better writer, a better coach, and so on.


I have been very thankful for competent ER staff

Recently I have been grateful for these specific experts:

I am so thankful for the Emergency Rescue experts that saved my friend’s daughter after a terrible bicycle accident last week. She broke the sixth disc in her neck, but luckily the spinal cord and the nerves were not damaged. That emergency crew was able to get this young teen safely to the ER, where the expert medical crew treated her, grafting bone from her hip and recreating this disc. AMAZING!

I am thankful for the expert teaching of Sebastian Walzik last weekend regarding case studies and how to write them. It is always a pleasure to sit under great teaching.

I am thankful for the expert furnace repairman who fixed our furnace this afternoon. We are warm again, and that is really something to be grateful for!

I am also very thankful for the expert radiant heat oven builder (a kind of high level brick layer extraordinaire) because while the furnace was not working this oven kept us relatively warm.

Next time you go poo-pooing experts, remember, we can only be experts in one (possible two) things in our lives, and to be a REAL expert takes time to study and practice.

The world-famous Swiss tightrope walker, Freddy Nock, said at last week’s Wirschaftssymposium Aargau that he started to work on the tightrope at age four, and he practices (still) up to nine hours a day. To be a real expert, it takes lots more than a two-day course, or skimming a book. It takes the hard work of really getting it right. Think of Freddy as he gets ready for his next daring walk. He over-prepares. Most experts do, somehow, because they really are “know it all”s.

Right now I am also very grateful for the medical experts caring for several friends, and for three family members who are ill —these days, we can trust the doctors around us, as they try their best in a world where diseases mutate and spread in alarming manners. I have been in the place of needing those kind of experts more than once, and I am thankful they were there for me, as they are for my loved ones, right now.

So, are you an expert? At what? I am able to call myself an expert at teaching business communication, I am beginning to be an expert coach, and I am working on becoming a supervisor and a writer.

What experts are you thankful for?

Be grateful for the experts in the world

Patricia Jehle



Happy Gratefulness!

November 22nd, 2017


Tomorrow is the USA’s biggest celebration: Thanksgiving. It lasts four days, but tomorrow is the official holiday. ‘Tis the season to be thankful! I realize it would be beneficial for your – and my – health and well-being to really take some time and count our blessings, but this year I am rather sad about a few circumstances, and yet I am grateful about many others.


I have family and friends who are ill, very ill indeed, unemployed, underemployed, and others have major issues like depression and deaths in the immediate family. These are hard circumstances and they make my mini ups and downs at work seem rather weak. The kinds of work issues I have can usually be “overcome” with a little bit of reflection and change in my thoughts and behavior.


My friends and family have other bigger problems, though. Thinking one’s way out of stage three cancer and other major problems is unadvisable. Instead, I need to “be there” for my family and friends as much as I can, though I am often far away from them. This is hard for me, being so far away. Maybe you can relate.


Even though your (and my) life is sometimes hard, it is still important to make that shift from “pity party” to thankful thinking as much and as often as possible. Because this can be difficult to do, I have given you some ideas:


Here are SIX things we can all do to be more grateful:


1-Visit someone that has made a positive influence in your life and specifically thank them. I was thinking I might try one a week before Christmas—tea is always good at these times, which reminds me of “A Cup of Christmas Tea”, a wonderful book/poem about relationships: – the gratefulness journal and jar I have already talked about in previous blogs, so I won’t go there.


2-And do remember to smile– your body will feel happier, so smile. The world may just smile with you, and even if they don’t, you will feel better. Your body reacts to the way you carry it, and this includes smiling (or frowning).


3-Set a gratefulness alarm and do something. My nephew-in-law, for example, takes a photo every day at 3pm and it’s become a kind of portfolio of his various projects. He posts the pics on Facebook—and I am quite pleased to see them. We, too, could do this: take a photo every day at a certain time of something that we are grateful for. The dog, the warm sofa, the cookies on the table, the fire in the fireplace.


4-Keep track of how many times you gripe in a day/in a week, and for every complaint, think of two positives that have happened. Keep everything in a positive balance. It is very easy to get into the negative thinking habit and this little check-up might help to keep you thinking more positively.


5-Thank someone like the postal carrier, the garbage collector, or whoever else you may feel is overlooked, but essential to our lives. Thank the bus driver or the the cashier. It will make both your days.


6- Remember to ask yourself what you are grateful for, preferably every day. I do a gratefulness check at the end of the day- what am I grateful for, and what can I improve tomorrow. I usually write my “thankfulness list” down and put the paper in a gratitude jar that is my kitchen.


Here is my Thanksgiving Gratefulness list for tomorrow: Family, near and far; Friends (ditto); a great slash career: lecturer/coach/writer; cool students and clients; I love my dog; my creature comforts (home, health, food); Swiss public transportation; and the amazing fall weather we have been having; not to mention books and further training this fall.


What’s on your gratefulness list?


Of course, it is also a good idea to take time this weekend and think about what you are grateful for — and what you can change in your circle of influence.


Wishing Happy Thanksgiving to all, those in the US, and those who are not. Think of all the things that you are thankful for and give thanks.



Patricia Jehle            


Take time to give thanks

A Long Way

April 3rd, 2017

You’ve come a long way, baby!

I have come a long way from a decade ago. I bet you have, too! We have come a long way, baby!

Twelve years ago my father-in-law was quite ill with liver cancer and we often visited him in Baden. He passed on in December of 2005. Today I walked past his house, now owned by someone else and being beautifully renovated at this very moment.


A walk of remembering

The walk brought back a flood of memories of – mostly – good times in that house. I’ve always thought it a wonderful house, full of good folk, great memories.


But this morning I was walking on this street to visit my OBGYN for my annual check-up. She has recently moved into a private practice down the street from my in-laws’ old place. Funny. Sad. Interesting. Coincidence? Maybe.


Eleven years ago we, my husbands’ siblings and their families, cleaned out and sold my in-laws’ house just as I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was when I got to know my most favorite OBGYN and favorite gynecological surgeon, still working as a team today. I got to see them both today and it felt good; it felt right to see them there today after walking by the house where my husband spent his teenage years, where my babies visited their grandparents.


Celebrating more than ten years!

Later I will celebrate over ten years of being cancer free, of coming a long way. I am very grateful!


After surgery and chemotherapy in 2006, I spent a few years recovering my stamina, getting my bearings and deciding what to do with this new view of my life. Having a serious illness often makes one reflect on their life and direction. In some ways, I am continuing in the same direction, in others, I am changing it, a little.


I still read and write, now more than ever- but with more intention, too. I have a Spiritual Direction certification and see my own spiritual director, something which I have wanted to do for a long time. Now I just do it; I make the time for it. I still teach and I really enjoy it, now adding my own specialties to what I teach in the classroom.


Namely, I add coaching, as I have become a certified business coach and presently am looking to upgrade to Master Coach and Supervisor soon. All those activities and choices have come out of the reflection on my life after being so ill.


Reflect on you life

And you, you don’t have to have such a dramatic reason to reflect. You can just take some time and think about you life, where you have been, where you are (your “red dot”), and where you want to go now. Or tonight, if now is not a good time.


Celebrating my – and your – “red dot”

Part of my celebration today will be a walk in the springy countryside where I live, sitting on a bench and enjoying my dog (acquired to keep me healthy), listening to the birds. I will take that time to continue to reflect on where I have been and be thankful for where I am now.


You can do that, too. In your home, on a walk, at a special place set aside for such reflecting and celebrating. Wherever you want. But you should take some time and reflect on your life and examine it, your “why”, so to speak. Then celebrate on how far you have come. It will do you a lot of good, I promise.


Have a great time doing it!


Patricia Jehle, Jehle Coaching or write me at

House renovation of my father-in-law’s place


January 23rd, 2017

A long time ago during a January Term at Macalester College when we were studying War Theory (it was a great class, but hard to only focus on War for a whole month) a friend of mine, Tim, told me a very long joke about the fact there was nothing to worry about and that only two things can happen. It was a funny, but very true joke and it helped us to refocus on the good after a depressing month.


Focusing on the Good was the exact opposite of what I learned about last week at a talk by Matthias Horx on the Creative Age: he reminded us that we must not fall into the trap of Awfulism. I had not heard the word before, but the concept is familiar to me from my coaching training:


Awfulizing is a term coined by psychologist Albert Ellis. It refers to an irrational and dramatic thought pattern, characterized by the tendency to overestimate the potential seriousness or negative consequences of events, situations, or perceived threats.


Where I have been trained it this kind of thinking called a cognitive error:


“Awfulizing – Looking at things in a negative way. Some types of this error are:


  • Thinking that you can’t tolerate an unpleasant emotion or that you will go crazy or die if you experience one;
  • Thinking that a problem is more severe than it is; exaggerating how bad something is;
  • Thinking that only bad things will certainly happen;


Overlooking or ignoring the positive, the advantages, benefits, or good points when you evaluate something (i.e. considering only the negatives, disadvantages, costs , detriments, or bad points.”


WE MUST Avoid Awfulizing


To avoid this cognitive error you can do many things to help


– one of the best is to scale a situation:


On a scale of one to ten where one is not much at all and ten is it is going to kill you someone else, how bad is this situation or issue?


OR you could call my friend Tim and ask to hear the joke: “There is nothing to worry about; only two thing s can happen…”


You could also start a board on Pintrest to alleviate your awfulizing thoughts. Mine is called Fun and Funny.



Another way to deal with this thinking is to change the way you look at life by writing down the positives.


Another talk I heard from my friend Renate was on how we should take a jar and write our reasons to be thankful down on pieces of paper and put them in that jar.

Whenever you focus on the good in your life, you raise the level of your gratitude and that, in turn, does you good. You can Google it for yourself, but I have chosen an article from Newsweek to summarize this concept:


  • Gratitude increases your hope


  • You are healthier


  • You sleep better


  • You have better self-esteem


  • You help others more


  • You have more empathy


  • You are more resilient (to the bad)


TO DO: So, in summary, why don’t you get out some paper, a pen and a jar and at least once a week write down five things for which you are grateful? Or better yet at least one, and up to three things a day… You may have to find yourself a gallon-sized pickle jar soon!


Finally, once a month, take an hour and go through the jar. If you are a journaler (and maybe even if you aren’t), write down what you have seen or learned from your time of re-reading your gratefulness papers.


If you want, you can tell me how it goes.


Have a great week,


Patricia Jehle


April 22nd, 2016

Celebrating ENOUGH


The Healthy Enough

Ten years ago I was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. It was a rough time, but I am fine, so far. For that I thank God.


Four years ago I had a motorcycle accident in Thailand and then was dealing with frozen shoulder and a bone that wouldn’t mend in my upper left arm for about 18 months. It sounds rather out-of-character for me to have been on a motorcycle in Thailand, but that is how one travels there. And until that moment, it had been pretty fun. I have even gotten back on a motorcycle since then- again in N. Thailand, seated behind a trusted friend.


Every year my allergy season/cold season seems to drag on from January to June. This year I even had pneumonia for the first time in my life. My friend Jim tells me that having pneumonia is what it feels like to have COPD. Well, I am thankful that I don’t have that!


Yet, I am functional enough. Aside from being pretty much written off from work during the chemo and being off work right after my motorcycle accident, I have been working even in the midst of being not so well. I have been well enough. Despite the multitude of doctor visits, which still continue to this day, I am able to participate and enjoy my daily life, most of the time.


My neighbor says that health is the most important thing, but I would disagree. It is great thing, but good enough health allows me to be a part of my family, social environs, and work just fine. I have a few friends who are quite a bit more (seriously) ill than I at the moment and they know what is most important: family, friends, and being grateful in the moment for the moment.


The wealthy Enough

I have a financial planner friend who always counsels people not to spend money on things they can’t afford to impress people they don’t like. How much stuff is enough? Do I really need that 8th pair of work trousers? What about that shirt in blue? I have three other blue shirts. I remember being told in college that one is rich when one can decide on which clothes to wear that day. I don’t know about you, but I am exceedingly rich by that definition, maybe not by “society’s” definition. But I certainly have way enough.


The well done enough

Every week I look at my long to do list and prioritize, depending on due dates, on energy levels, and on what I would prefer to do. Every week that to do list gets partially done, but not fully. When is it good enough? When do I have to stop and literally, or figuratively, smell those roses? Most of us, especially those of us who are self-starters, have an incredibly high standard set for ourselves. We need to know when it is good enough, when we can stop and celebrate the things we have done.


I live in a culture that idolizes perfectionism. Perhaps you do, too. Yesterday I had to wait at the doctor’s office for about ten minutes. Not so long. But she excused herself at the end of the visit. I said that it was no problem and she responded, “after all we are all only human”. That is more than good enough! Let us celebrate our humanity this weekend by giving ourselves a break! Have a wonderful time being human!


Take good care of yourselves, enjoy the weather (at least in Switzerland, I will say, while it lasts), and be grateful for all those good enough things- that are really good, and enough!


Patricia Jehle



Attention (and paying it)

April 5th, 2016


Have you been Paying Attention?


Sometimes the message comes from every angle- from articles, from friends, from speakers, from books. Everywhere you turn it’s “THERE”. Well, this week that has happened to me, and the message has been: pay attention. So, I am trying to pay attention — to myself, to others, and to my surroundings.


The why

The reason you should pay attention is that you see more, you are more aware of things than if you get “caught up in yourself, and your everyday life”. Some people like to call this concentration mindfulness, others call this kind of paying attention a variety of things. But it really doesn’t matter what you call it. It matters that you do it. There are even people who will tell you that business people who do this activity are more successful.


For me, this attention has to do with integrating my whole self. We were not meant to compartmentalize ourselves and this activity helps us to integrate our persons, and to help us make wise decisions.


Attention to ourselves

First, we need to pay attention to our own selves and our feelings; I especially need to pay attention to my feelings. Some people know immediately what they are feeling but some of us think a lot more, and so we need to pay more attention to our feelings. Some of us need vocabulary for their feelings, here is a pin I have on my Pintrest board that may help with the vocabulary of feelings:


Attention to others

Second, there are the others around us who we can pay attention to—for me, that means suspending judgment, and really listening, not prejudging people “so and so always does/is…” It is so important for me to do this. I am working on this and it is not easy! I have (still) been reading Brené Brown and, as she writes in Daring Greatly, that people are doing the best they can. I believe people deserve my full attention, when I am paying attention. Judgment demeans and gets in the way of real communication so I must stop myself and give people the benefit of the doubt.


Attention to my surroundings

My surroundings is the third area to pay attention to. I love this part- I am able to pay attention with all my senses to what is around me: the beauty of creation, the food that is being cooked, the sounds of birds in the morning, the smell of freshly dried clothing off the clothesline, the feel of my dog’s soft muzzle. I could go on. This kind of attention often leads to gratitude, which is also a very good thing.


The take-away

So, what are you going to pay attention to now, today, this week? How would you like to see your attention giving practices change? You know, paying attention will make you more successful, and a more grateful person.


Happy attention paying!


Patricia Jehle

When it rains on your parade, put up an umbrella

February 10th, 2016

Is it raining? Are there Jealousy and Tantrums?IMG_0690


Sometimes other people rain on our parade, have you ever noticed that? They also rain on other people’s parades, too. Recently I have been noticing this in my life, in my “neighbors’ ” lives, and even in the international news. This kind of raining has become prevalent. I think we should put a stop to it, at least as much as we have power over it.


I want to look at the whys for such negativity, and then suggest a way to put up your umbrella in protection, and finally encourage you not to rain on others’ parades.


Why? Jealousy


Maybe you are doing well, maybe you are even doing really great- other people who are not doing as well may want to rain on your parade. Why? -maybe because of jealousy. Or perhaps they are feeling so bad that any sort of positive movement or attention given to others makes them angry. This kind of negative activity, whether it is talking about you behind your back, trolling, writing about you in the local newspaper, or whining about you to the international press, is really bad behavior on their part and truly has nothing to do with you or your success. It is about those people and their attitudes and behaviors.


What to do? Put up an umbrella!


How do I put up and use my umbrella to protect me? The “rule” Brene Brown uses is two-fold: only people actually getting out there and trying get ahead with you are allowed to tell you anything, and of those people, only the (very) few you can trust should be taken seriously. You alone get to make that list of people and the others “don’t count” so you don’t have to listen to them. You can even, like Brene, write down that list and put it in your pocket, briefcase or handbag. So, think about those who you are going to put on your list, write it down, and ignore all others. If you have to, go off-line. Don’t read the local newspaper. Do whatever you have to do to put up that umbrella and use it.


Finally, make sure you are not raining on others’ parades. Instead, celebrate with them!


It is important to recognize and celebrate success. We need to do that for ourselves and friends and family, but why not spread the wealth and celebrate other people’s success, too? You will find yourself celebrating very often, and that is good. It is a bit like being grateful for what you have. It puts a positive spin on life. Why don’t you try doing it today? Write a note of congratulations on LinkedIn or facebook. Call a friend. Give somebody an “ataboy”! Let’s move into the future with a more positive outlook for ourselves, for your neighbors, and for the communities we live in. Celebrate you success. Celebrate the success of others.


Patricia Jehle

The weather outside may be frightful, but I am doing well

December 6th, 2015

The Advent Season (and the month of December) is well into swing and though the weather outside may be frightful, my home and mood have been quite delightful. Here are some reasons why:


I am downsizing my expectations


Good enough is really good enough for me this December. I don’t know about you, but I often have too high of expectations- on my self, on others and on what this season should/could/would bring.


My expectations have had to re-adjust over the years as job, family situation, and physical abilities have changed. When our babies were little I arose very early and wrote Christmas cards and used their nap times for baking cookies. As my working hours increased, I was less able to bake and the focus became more the children’s school programs (and there were lots of those shows, markets, and concerts) Now I notice that I have less available energy at this time of year and I must be careful with what I promise to myself and others.


I am focusing on the positive, despite the negatives


I am working on my hope level this season, lighting that first advent candle of hope most days, and now the second candle of peace has been lit, too. I hope for many things this season: peace on Earth is still the number one, but there are many more personal hopes, too: for loved ones to enjoy the season, though someone else is now “missing” in their lives, for my kids to do well on semester exams that are soon starting, for safe travels for all I know this coming holiday season.


Also, I choose to see the positive in all people this Advent and Christmas season. There may be shootings and terrorist attacks, but this month, I will think of everyone as a “potential friend” and not as an enemy, despite their seeming differences of philosophy, politics, race, creed, etc. I choose to see every person as a fellow human with the potential to change and grow and succeed positively for the good of all.


I am also choosing positive things to do that I enjoy and feel good about.


Today in Switzerland is St. Nicholas Day. I really like this day for a couple of reasons: it keeps Christmas focused on the real Gift of the holiday and it keeps Christmas less commercial. But even more t hat, December 6th is a day for all of us in Switzerland to eat bread people (Griitibänz), drink hot chocolate, eat mandarins and enjoy one another’s company. So, to celebrate, I’ve made a couple of kilos of bread-people dough and baked some people, but also rolls to give out at a couple of Advent events our family is involved in this weekend. I didn’t have to do this; nobody expects it and so I get to do it for fun.


I also volunteered this past Thursday at the annual senior dinner in town. Not only do I get to serve my delightful neighbors a great meal, but I get to chat with some of them and enjoy the program prepared for them. This event has become a highlight of my December activities since moving into the Swiss countryside. I don’t ever have to do it, but I choose to do it and enjoy every minute of the service.


Finally, I am making my list and getting it done


Making sure that enough is my goal, my list is much shorter and I am getting it done. This, in turn, makes me feel like I can accomplish everything and I don’t lie under a heavy “to do before Dec. 24 list”. I feel freer and happier because of it, which leads to thankfulness and so I am thankful for all the days I have to do the things I want and choose to do.


What about you? Are you shortening and accomplishing your lists, focusing on the positives, doing things that make you happy and being grateful for each day? I hope so!


For more about me, you can visit: www.jehle-coacing.comIMG_1332

Happy Gratefulness Week!

November 23rd, 2015


Thankfulness and Gratefulness:

This week is the USA’s biggest weekend celebration: Thanksgiving. ‘Tis the season to be thankful, to be grateful. But did you realize it would be good for your health and well-being to really take time and count your blessings?


According to many studies, this is true. Even the New York Times says so:

Even though your (and my) life is sometimes hard, it is important to make that shift from pity party to thankful thinking. Sometimes this is hard, so I have taken a Mashable (American Greeting) blog and put my own twist to it:

Five things to do to be more grateful:

1-Visit someone that has made a positive influence in your life and specifically thank them. I was thinking I might try one a week before Christmas—tea is always good at these times, which reminds me of “A Cup of Christmas Tea”, a wonderful book/poem about relationships: – the gratefulness journal and jar I have already talked about in previous blogs, so I won’t go there.

2-But do remember to smile– your body will feel happier, but the Mashable article and the NYT say so- and I tried it our, myself and think it works. So smile. The world may just smile with you, and even if they don’t, you will feel better.

3-Set a gratefulness alarm. My nephew-in-law takes a photo every day at 3pm and it’s become a kind of portfolio of his various projects. He posts the pics on Facebook—and I am pleased to see them. We, too, could do this: take a photo every day at a certain time of something that we are grateful for. The dog, the warm sofa, the cookies on the table.

4-Keep track of how many times you grip in a day/in a week, and for every complaint, think of two positives that have happened. Keep everything in a positive balance. It is very easy to get into the negative thinking habit and this little exercise might help to keep you thinking more positively.

5-Thank the postal carrier, the garbage collector, or whoever else you may feel is overlooked, but essential to our lives. I think I will thank that bus driver for opening the door and waiting for the elderly woman who was slightly late … I like this one a lot!

Of course, it is also a good idea to take time this weekend, even if you don’t live in the USA, and think of all the things that you are thankful for and give thanks. Really thank God for those blessings, great and small. To end this, I would like to quote a poem I have read a few times and I find it appropriate for the season, it’s Manley Hopkins’s “Pied Beauty”:


Glory be to God for dappled things —

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;

Landscape plotted and pieced — fold, fallow, and plough;

And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.


Besides the NYT, here is the Mashable article:

Should you be interested in reading more about me, you can find me at