January 11, 2015

how to practice gratitude … and a giveaway

Let Gratitude Maya Angelou Quote Maidservant of Encouragement Etsy
As long-time readers know, I adopted “dream” as my first “word of the year” in 2013. What a perfect choice that was! I found that reminding myself to dream helped to push me farther and faster than I might have ordinarily been inclined.

Bring Joy Back Sara Blakely

Last year, I focused on “joy” — to remind myself to find joy in the process, not only the destination. Truth be told, I was DONE with “joy” by mid-year. Over. It. Yes, yes, I appreciated the reminder. But I wasn’t feeling particularly joyous when trying to meet a deadline, or get cranky kids to bed, or …. well, you name it. And I almost felt guilty if I wasn’t overflowing with joy every minute of the day.

Joy Out of Being Not Doing Fehr Quote

So what was the problem? I think I finally figured it out. I’m an ACTION girl! I try to meditate, but I fall asleep. Every. Durn. Time. “A New Earth” by Eckhardt Tolle has been a revolutionary book for so many people, but for me — Major Snooze Fest. No need to tell me: I recognize my personality flaw.

Happiness Lies in Joy of Achievement Franklin Roosevelt

Maybe “joy” felt too passive. Of course, I want to be joyous. It’s a wonderful thing! But for my 2015 touchstone, I want to DO and not just BE.

Live Simply Typewriter Quote Merci Merci Etsy

Interestingly, writing this blog post gave me a clarity that I hadn’t managed before. In 2015, I will practice “gratitude.” I will let gratitude be the pillow upon which I say my nightly prayers. Thank you, Maya Angelou!

Gratitude is the parent of virtues Cicero Quote

See what that does? For me, it’s simply taking “joy” to the next level. I can find many reasons to be grateful, even if I am not feeling joyful. And it serves the same purpose of reminding me to appreciate what I have now — even as I grow, change and look toward the future.

If you’d like to follow along, meet me here on Sundays!

PS:  To encourage you on your 2015 path, I’m giving away a downloadable art print of your choice from the Etsy shop, Maidservant of Encouragement. Easy-peasy to enter; just leave a comment on this post. If you are so inclined, I’d love to know what your 2015 word will be!

Maya Angelou graphic by Maidservant of Encouragement and available for purchase as an instant download on Etsy. Use promo code HAPPY2015 to save 15% until the end of the year! Live Simply typewriter quote by The Love Shop and available for purchase on Merci Merci’s Etsy shop. All other graphics by Carolina Consulting Company for Traci Zeller, Inc. 


  • Sarah Theobald
    Jan. 11, 2015
    My word is still. I am energetic and outgoing but sometimes I busy myself with more things then I can handle. I was sick for a few weeks this holiday and I found when forced to be quiet and stay still even though out of my comfort zone I felt peaceful and I was able to enjoy the small things. It was a gift really.
  • Katie Dana
    Jan. 12, 2015
    I was going to leave a comment anyway! The giveaway just makes it sweeter. :) I really like this post. It was well thought out ( you do have the capacity for deep reflection!) and made me think as well. Last year was a big year of adjustments and doing my best with what "happened" - move to a new city, new baby.. This year I want to shape my life more rather than only respond! Shape is a weird word though! But it conjures images of a potter on a wheel. Maybe create! Have a good day!
  • Mary Jane Sorensen
    Jan. 12, 2015
    I love your word for 2015! My word for 2015 would be "appreciation"... to appreciate my friends, job etc. to be appreciative of what I have and to live in the present instead of looking back or dreaming about tomorrow.
  • Kathleen DiPaolo
    Jan. 12, 2015
    Great word T!!! Xoxo, K

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