About six months ago, my friend John sent me an email. He had an idea to start something he was calling a "Gratitude Club".
The premise was simple. Every morning he would send out an email to about 12 friends, listing five things for which he was grateful that day. Whatever came to mind in the moment. Each of these friends would then send out their lists of five things, hitting "Reply All".
"Well that's sweet." I thought. And decided to join in. Because I like John. And it couldn't do me any harm.
And so the Gratitude Club began.
Most days, everyone's lists of what they're thankful for are simple - "A great cup of coffee", "Finding my keys", "Netflix". But sometimes, the thanks are more profound "That my friend was able to die peacefully, surrounded by all his loved ones", "That my father is strong and healthy and celebrating his 84th birthday", "That the other driver and I both walked away unharmed from the car accident I had today'.
Every day, I get several Gratitude Club emails. I don't always read them. Some days I just don't have time. Some days I'm not in the mood. And I don't always chime in with my five things, for much the same reasons.
But I've found this simple act of writing down and sharing five things in my life for which I'm grateful to be incredibly powerful and centering.
Because some days? I can't think of a damned thing. Some days I just don't feel very lucky. Or blessed. Some days I'm angry. Or jealous. Or just exhausted.
And those, of course, are the days when the Gratitude Club proves itself to be the most profound. When, in forcing myself to open my heart and mind and give thanks, I become aware of the many bounties in my life, from the profound (my child, my home, enough food to eat) to the mundane (Starbucks Venti Nonfat Caramel Macchiatos, a great parking place, clean underwear).
John has expanded the club now, and opened a Facebook page. You can join it if you want. It now has 379 members.
But I prefer the small original email group. It's more personal and private and profound.
And now I'm grateful for...the Gratitude Club.
I highly recommend starting a Gratitude Club of your own. And since this is all about giving thanks, and since this has certainly worked for me, I hereby submit this to both Sprite's Keeper's Spin Cycle...