I am participating in Gratitude Week 2017 which is hosted by the very lovely Michelle at  It is for one week and open to anyone.

Today and I am grateful to have the opportunity to practice gratitude and become more mindful thanks to the very special prompts provided by Michelle.  So what follows is today’s prompt from Michelle.  I am sharing it with you because I believe in the concept of paying it forward.


One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade.
~Chinese Proverb~

I believe in collective effort; I believe in community. I believe that our gathering together for this special Gratitude Week carries a certain weight in the world. Most people on the face of this earth, let alone our immediate communities, will not know that we’ve been paying special attention to gratitude this week. But we know it. And, as we practice it, it will ripple into the world.

Gratitude has a way of softening the edges. It doesn’t take away the stressful commute or the chronic pain, but it opens our eyes wide to the fullness of the life we live. And when we, as individuals, begin to see this and know this and embrace this, it colors the way we move in the world. We will still stumble and make mistakes, but we will dust ourselves off and carry on with our work. The work of the office, the work of the house, the work of the heart. We will be the best people that we can be. And we will touch the lives of others.

We will be the ones remembering to say please and thank you. We will be the ones bringing in the mail for the elderly neighbor. We will be the ones holding the door. We will be the ones picking up trash at the park. We will be the ones donating time, money, skill. We will be the ones making home.

We will be the ones noticing the light falling across the floor. We will be the ones making someone smile. We will be the ones admiring the flowers. We will be the ones giving one more hug.

Those around us will see our practice. Some of them will follow suit. Others might not be quite ready, and that’s okay. But, in being our best (and most grateful) selves, we invite others to do the same. We needn’t say a word; we simply lead by example.

Children will see. Spouses will see. Aging parents and neighbors and co-workers and store clerks will see. We begin a practice of gratitude for ourselves, as a way to stay grounded and thankful. But, like the ripples of water that spread from the toss of a pebble, our gratitude also spreads. Our personal gratitudes rest in our hearts (remember Thursday’s reflection?), but they have a way of moving beyond ourselves.

Gratitude is never stagnant. It grows, it blooms. It gives shade to those who need it. It lies within, but it flourishes without. Plant your seeds of gratitude. A little here, a little there. Watch the shade spread; watch the rippled rings expand. First, begin where you are.

always the love, m


Here’s how you can play along in community:

1. Share your gratitudes with #GratitudeWeek2017 on Instagram.
2. Leave a comment on my Gratitude Week blog post and/or link to your own blog post. You can share in my post any or all days.
3. Send me an email…I love them, I read them, I respond to them.
4. Reflect privately at home.

As is true for so much of the work I do, there are no rules. Move through this week in the way that feels best for you. There are no expectations; there is just you and me and we. Here we are together for seven days.


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About Bernadette

I live in the small town of Haddonfield, NJ. I am at an age in my life when I seem to spend time thinking and musing about life. These musings are usually stimulated by my walks through Haddonfield, my reading of books and fellow bloggers, and my interaction with my group of fabulous family and friends.

12 Responses

  1. Elizabeth Mangino

    These words are so true and that’s what gives them their beauty. Michelle, thanks for your post. And Bernadette, thanks for sharing it with a wider audience. Inspired by this gratitude week I’ve been reading each day, I found myself contemplating the relationship of gratitude to compassion. I think the more we are grateful for all the things in our lives, regardless of how large or small, common or unique, the more we realize that we all have the potential to find and express gratitude on a daily basis. It’s part of our humanity. And when we recognize that, it opens our hearts to be more compassionate, because we know we are all part of the same essence of life. Which brings me to a beautiful quote by Djalal Ad-Din Rumi: ” Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elizabeth, yesyesyes. A practice of gratitude just grows and grows and grows. And it helps us become aware of the way we are linked to one another…as you beautifully wrote: “we are all part of the same essence of life”.

      I’m so glad to know you enjoyed reading this post. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara

    I read this just this morning. “When I surrendered my desire for security and sought serenity instead, I looked at my life with open eyes. I saw that I had much for which to be grateful. I felt humbled by my riches and regretted that I took for granted the abundance that already existed in my life. How could I expect more from the Universe when I didn’t appreciate what I already had?” “…..The power of Gratefulness caught me by surprise.” Sarah Ban Breathnach Simple Abundance.

    Thank you for this beautiful and inspiring post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much, Bernadette! A peacefulness came over me when I read your post. What difference it makes when we have an attitude of gratitude! I learn every day not to have assumption but to be grateful in every moment and to be thankful for every relationship. Thank you for your touching post!


  4. Very special post…..With so much negativity in the news, and some in our lives, it is so vital to do an about turn… and switch our thoughts to those of gratitude for all that we have. I don’t mean money of course, but the freedoms, the support , the friendships, our families, never to be taken for granted… Diane

    Liked by 1 person


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