It’s time for our monthly Gratitude Circle post and for a moment, I wondered if I would run out of things to write about. Why, you wonder? Because I’ve been linking in to the Ten Things of Thankful linky over the last few Saturdays and covered quite a list in my posts during the month : Thankful Seeds and The Quiet Joy of Gratitude. However, I decided to share my list and review The Gratitude Diaries too.
But there’s always something more to be grateful for, isn’t there? So here’s my list for the week.
- I’ve not been too well – a cold, fever and a dull headache – but I’m so grateful that I get to be at home. No boss that I have to request for leave!
- A husband who takes good care of me – even pampers me! Thanks, José.
- A wonderful maid, who noticing that I wasn’t well, went above and beyond what she is expected to do.
- The mad frenzy of painting that I started. No, I’m not good at it, but I certainly love playing around with paints, colours and mediums. Sheer joy!
- My brother finding so much joy and recognition in his chosen area of work and that all his years of passionate study and pursuit of this hobby is paying off handsomely.
- As always, books – I can’t seem to keep up with all that I have and keep getting more!
- Good conversations and discussions on sometimes difficult subjects, via my blog, Facebook and other blogs as well.
- Bloggers who inspire me, like Rena McDaniel who shares her struggles with her Mom who has Alzheimer’s. Presently, Rena and her team are raising funds for a Walk To End Alzheimer’s. Please click on the purple flowery button on this blog’s sidebar to find out more and donate to this cause.
- Generous corporations like Google which launched a donation-matching campaign to raise $11 million for refugees. Okay, so we can be cynical and say that they’re doing it for publicity or can afford to, but remember Steve Jobs and Apple – they could afford it too and hardly ever did.
- This one I can’t resist adding to my list! New research shows five perks of being overweight! Will the obese (me too) have the last laugh?
Today I’m also reviewing, The Gratitude Diaries, a fabulous book I read, thanks to NetGalley (in exchange for an honest review).
by Janice Kaplan
Penguin Group Dutton
In this inspiring memoir backed by pioneering research, Janice Kaplan spends a year living gratefully and gains a fresh outlook that transforms her marriage, family life, work, health, and every day experience.
On New Year’s Eve, journalist and former Parade editor in chief Janice Kaplan makes a promise to be grateful and look on the bright side of whatever happens. She realizes that how she feels over the next months will have less to do with the events that occur than her own attitude and perspective. Getting advice at every turn from psychologists, academics, doctors, and philosophers she brings readers on a smart and witty journey to discover the value of appreciating what you have.
Relying on both amusing personal experiences and extensive research, Kaplan explores how gratitude can transform every aspect of life including marriage and friendship, money and ambition, and health and fitness. She learns how appreciating your spouse changes the neurons of your brain and why saying thanks helps CEOs succeed. Through extensive interviews with experts and lively conversations with real people including celebrities like Matt Damon, Daniel Craig, and Jerry Seinfeld, Kaplan discovers the role of gratitude in everything from our sense of fulfillment to our children’s happiness.
Janice Kaplan is successful writer, television producer and magazine editor, she was the Editor-in-Chief of Parade magazine where she did cover stories with everyone from President Barack Obama to Barbra Streisand. At the time,Parade was the biggest magazine in the country, reaching 73 million people each week.
Janice was deputy editor of TV Guide magazine and executive producer of the TV Guide Television Group, where she created and produced more than 30 television shows that aired primetime on ABC, FOX, VH1 and other networks. She began her career as an on-air sports reporter for CBS Radio and went on to be an award-winning producer at ABC-TV’s Good Morning America.
She is the author and co-author of twelve books, including the New York Times bestselling memoir I’ll See You Again, written with Jackie Hance. Her popular novels include The Botox Diaries, Mine Are Spectacular! and The Men I Didn’t Marry and the Lacy Fields mysteries Looks To Die For and A Job To Kill For . Her books have been translated and published in more than a dozen countries.
My review – [rating=4]
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude has been a life-changing experience for me. To read another person’s story and see this happen in her life is very inspiring to me. Kaplan asserts that applying the lessons of gratitude research into her daily life brought improvements in her mood, relationships and health. I’ve seen that happen too.
Her book though anecdotal is based on research of science of gratitude and she has included a lot of interviews with prominent researchers in this field as well as celebrities.
There has been some criticism of Kaplan to say that she lives in a very privileged neighborhood and it’s natural that she would be grateful. I disagree with this view. The fact that someone is educated, rich or famous, doesn’t make them grateful. Gratitude is a choice and one that Kaplan made on a day to day basis.
If you want to be convinced that gratitude, when practiced consistently, can have a life-changing effect on you, then this is the book to pick up.
Join Vidya Sury and me for September’s Gratitude Circle.