I think therefore I am? – Gratitude Exercise

Photo by KT Likes Coffee on Unsplash

Here’s something you could try doing that my writing in community friend Martha shared with me this week:

An assignment that literally changed my students’ lives. Extra credit (optional, and adds points to overall score). Make a list of 50 things you are grateful for in your life. Must use following format:

I am grateful for _________________ because __________________________.

One pt. for each line. Must complete 50. 49 won’t do. Must fill BOTH blanks for each line. You will get 50 points added to your grade.

Example: I am grateful for my grandma, because she makes me breakfast every morning.

I could tell you so many stories about this assignment! Not everyone chooses to do it. And sadly, not everyone is able to think of 50. If not being able to complete the assignment is perceived by the student as a problem, I see that as a good thing. I love coaching them to see things in their life to be grateful for. I can tell when a student has stretched and really starts to “get it.”

At the time I was in Phoenix, AZ, and I often got this response (one of my favorites) included in the list.

I’m grateful for my shoes, because without them I couldn’t walk anywhere when the sidewalk is so hot.

The last question of the assignment: Now that you’ve completed your list, look inside yourself. How do you feel? Has anything shifted?

Once in a while I would get a “no.” But of the 70% who actually answered the last question, almost everyone said that they experienced a shift. Some said they felt happier or more positive, while others said they realized they had so many good things in their lives that they hadn’t actually realized.

Palliverse’s Greatest Hits from Oct 2014 – #getjakbak revisited – Part 6

Photo by Ave Calvar on Unsplash

Over the years I have noticed that when it comes to reunions of significant others that there can be a number of different outcomes. If someone has had to hang on, having reached the reunion might be akin to mission accomplished, and the person can deteriorate quickly after the meeting. Or else the person may receive a boost from the reunion and somehow it provides energy for them to carry on living, much longer than is to be expected.

The latter was the case with our patient, I knew that he was a strong man, with an unshakeable faith and strong willpower. I was surprised to learn from my Island contact that after the arduous journey our patient only stayed one night at the hospital, and was discharged the next day to his family’s home. What is it about the human spirit that can make it so resilient? The science can’t explain it, it is one of the mysteries of life. The importance of human connection, can keep you going, or bring you to a complete stop.

His prognosis had always been limited as he was very unwell throughout. The joy of reuniting with his siblings and their children really gave him a boost. 27 days he lasted before he died, which was impressive, and also fortunate as we could only provide him with 30 days’ worth of medications. He died just before he would’ve run out of his crucial medications.

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