Practice Gratitude Daily

by Aug 5, 20218 comments

To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.

Albert Schweitzer


Take the challenge to educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude by taking the time each day to record something for which you are grateful.  Take a photo, write in your journal, or draw a sketch.  Gather a collection of gratitude in a book or folder to have as a reminder you can reference any time you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or simply in the mood to remember the treasures in your life.

Some people start their day with daily meditation on 5 or 10 things for which they are grateful; others faithfully record 3 items in a gratitude journal each evening.  I admire that dedication but have learned it is not the answer for me.   I can find it by turns daunting or forced to set a task of identifying 10 or 5 or even 3 things.  But I do find inspiration by daily finding reason to be grateful.  Sometimes it is only one thing, or maybe something that I have noted many times but other days I generate a list of things that give me reason for gratitude.  When I began this practice about 5 years ago, I used to put it in my calendar as a reminder and some days would forget.  With practice, it has become a welcome part of each day.

You might find it helpful to set a regular time for your gratitude practice – first thing in the morning and last thing before going to sleep are popular times that might work well for you.  But it is also energizing to note gratitude throughout the day, perhaps with a walk outside to appreciate nature if only for a few minutes. Learning to take nothing for granted can open the mind for more feelings of gratitude.  Challenge yourself to find that gratitude – and capture it daily.

What are you grateful for today?



If you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings


Irving Berlin

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Educator, Artist, Storyteller


  1. Glenda Cates

    With Homeschool starting this week I am going to make this a part of our Morning Work then throughout the year Charlie can look back and see how what he was grateful and how things have changed. As his teacher I will also do this and see if I can get my husband to join us. Turning it into aFmaily Affair we do before Breakfast.

    • Mary Elizabeth

      Thanks for you comment. I love your suggestion to make gratitude a part of your morning routine! It sounds like a wonderful family activity. All the best with the Homeschooling – and the gratitude practice.

  2. Laura Orsini

    A topic near and dear to my heart. Maybe you and I can talk about a future collaboration, Mary Elizabeth!

    • Mary Elizabeth

      I Would love to do that, Laura! We seem to have many similar views and I shared your blog with several friends. I have been admiring your collages and have been starting to play with similar approaches in textile art – not nearly at your level. Let’s talk!!

  3. Kebba Buckley Button

    Mary Elizabeth, what a lovely and well-written piece. Gratitude is woven throughout my day. I think it’s clustered in my morning habit of stepping outside, greeting God, taking in the day, and giving thanks in great detail. I am extremely delightedly aware of my blessings and the grace that permeates my life.

    • Mary Elizabeth

      Thanks for your comments. I agree with you about weaving gratitude through the day and combining it with a more focused practice. I like your phrase about blessing a grace permeating your life.
      During all the isolation and lockdowns last year, we have felt especially blessed and grateful to be able to walk outside and on local trails. It has made all the difference for health and sanity. So many friends and family members have been stressed about staying home and it really made me even more aware of how much I have to be thankful for in my life. Best.

  4. Amrita Basu

    It’s very true that the more we are thankful for,the more we are blessed.I do try to do this,but maybe a more consistent practice is needed.

    • Mary Elizabeth

      Thanks for sharing. You are right that the more we are thankful, the more we open ourselves for reasons for gratitude. I have found it really has helped me to have a more focused attention on daily practice. Peace,

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