How to Show Gratitude When Life Is Difficult

Good morning to you each and may you have a very happy day, filled with gratitude! That is our topic for today… gratitude. It was one of the search terms and I always can talk about it.

Gratitude is defined by Webster as a feeling of thankful appreciation for favors or benefits received. So, how does one show gratitude?

It’s all well and good when you are in a joyful mood, when things are going well for you. In those situations, gratitude is easy to demonstrate. It is easy to be grateful when life is going along well. Yu can merely sing the praises of everything around and in you that is joyous. But what about when the chips are down, when things are not so good in your life?

The thing about being grateful when life is difficult is that by showing a little gratitude, it expands into more, and the difficulties you are experiencing seem to minimize themselves.

What you focus on, you manifest. So, if you focus on something positive, positivity has a chance to show up. Gratitude is just that… focusing on something positive in your life. It can exist alongside of the negative that is happening. For example, “xyz” is bad right now, and, I am grateful for “abc.”

In my own life, things are slow in the speaking area. I don’t have any gigs planned and I need some. I am in the process of contacting all the local churches in the area, letting them know of my talk. No one has responded yet with a “yes.” Although somewhat discouraged by this, I am grateful there are so many churches in my area to whom I can reach out. I am grateful I have the time to contact them, grateful I have the time to work on my talk. That’s how gratitude is showing up in my life in relation to my speaking engagements.

How is it showing up for you in your life? What are you grateful for? Is life pretty tough right now and all you can show gratitude for is your sight, your hearing? Be grateful for those; start at that point and it will grow from there.

If you are struggling and can’t seem to get out of a quagmire, the feeling that you’re sinking, I invite you to make use of my coaching services. I have a coaching program that is six weeks long; it’s three sessions designed to jump-start you into positivity. Gratitude is simply one of the many things we discuss.

To access this program, I start with a free, 30-minute discovery phone call. It’s a way for you to verbalize what is happening in your life so you can feel supported in your difficulty. I leave you with one or more ways you can look at or do things differently so you can get relief. I also relay to you how we can continue to work together, if what I say resonates with you.

Simply call me at 415-8838325 to schedule your free discovery session. Or, you can email me at Either way, I would be delighted to work with you so you can find relief.



Gratitude For Yet Another Day

Good morning to everyone! Welcome to my blog! The search term I have chosen today has to do with gratitude… gratitude for yet another day.

I just spoke with my friend in Denver, where they are getting snow in blizzard-like conditions. And I am here, north of San Francisco, where it has dawned yet another beautiful and sunny day. I am so grateful for my life and where I live today. How about you?

For what in your life are you grateful? What is lighting you up today? Is it your physical surroundings, the presence of family and friends in your life, the things you are able to do with your life? What is it that brings you gratitude? Leave a comment and share your gratitude with us. Maybe that one thing you share will spark someone who is having difficulty being grateful into recognizing and appreciating the thing in their life for which they can be grateful.

Finding it difficult to be grateful for anything? Consider gratitude for the fact that you can see, can smell, can hear. Take a basic physical ability that you have and express gratitude for it. Consider one of your positive traits (we all have them) and express gratitude for that. Find one thing to be grateful for and the tone of your entire day will change.

If you like the attitude I display and want more of it, be aware that I offer the coaching program Opening the Gates of Your Heart: Finding Peace and Happiness Through Forgiveness. In the sessions of the program, I offer a safe, nurturing and non-judgmental atmosphere in which you can discover the gates of your heart. We work together to clear those gates, so you can open them and feel peace, happiness, and freedom.

You are eligible to receive a free, 30-minute discovery session, in which we will discover together the gates of your heart and what keeps you from peace and happiness. Then I will share with you how we can continue to work together, if what I say resonates with you. Simply call 415-883-8325 to schedule your free discovery session today. Let’s get started so you can learn to live with gates flung wide!


Using Gratitude in Dealing with Despair

Good morning, everyone! It is the wee, wee hours of the morning and I popped awake, so here I am. I wish for you each an insightful day, filled with many moments of gratitude.

Face of Despair

Face of Despair

I wanted to address the person who searched for “dealing with despair.” Let me begin by saying that I know what it is like to live in despair, to be filled with it. When I was about five years into sobriety, I was so filled with despair that I was praying to die. I knew of no other way to deal with my despair than to exit this world. I was like the image to the left – wailing, covering up my eyes and just wailing.

I remember those days, and want to say I know how debilitating they are. My heart goes out to those of you who are feeling despair. I also want to say that there is a way out of it; there is something you can do to minimize your despair.

I am not one for saying “fake it till you make it,” or “act as if.” I believe that not being with what you are feeling is detrimental. However, there comes a time when you can make the choice to move through your despair to something else.

To get out of despair, using gratitude is a powerful thing. You may not be grateful for anything in your life, nor see how you can be. Yet, gratitude is a great anecdote for despair.

Try this… be grateful for at least one thing today. Is it your sight, your hearing for which you are grateful? Are you grateful that you can see the beautiful flower in that garden, or hear the birds sing? Whatever that one thing is that you are grateful for, focus on it until you are really, truly appreciative that it is in your life.

Can’t find anything for which to be grateful? Use my example; be grateful for your sight, your hearing. Take your attention off of your despair and focus on the gratitude you have for that one thing. Allow that feeling to consume you throughout the day. Revisit it again and again.

Helping others to see their world with new eyes is what I do in my coaching practice. If you are having difficulty being grateful and would like some assistance to get there, please call for a free 30 minute discovery session. We will discover together what you want from your life and the blocks you are experiencing that keep you from getting what you want. Simply call me at 415-883-8325.

As you go through the day, make an effort to find gratitude for one thing, just one, and focus on it throughout the day. Use gratitude to deal with your despair and let us know how that went for you by leaving a comment.




Celebrate Gratitude for Who You Are

Hello and good morning to each of you! I am filled with gratitude for the day and wish to share that with you. And I am going to take it one step further and ask you to celebrate yourself for who you are!

If you have finished the positive list for your self-appraisal, then you will want to celebrate with gratitude what you have discovered. Be loud and proud to yourself about who you are in all your greatness, all your glory, all your light. Cultivate deep knowingness about who you are, what you have to offer the world, for you have much to give.

Offer gratitude for all your experiences, both positive and negative, that have shaped who you are today, for without ALL your experiences, you wouldn’t be “you” today. Be grateful for your life and all it has taught you, for all you have learned.

Write with your non-dominant hand – printing is easier – all the feelings that arise as you read this post and contemplate your beingness, and especially those of gratitude. Be humble and ecstatic about what and who you are, what and who you find.

Have you started your week’s long listing of all the positive things you thought, said, and did during the past week? Don’t forget to do that. Be in deep gratitude for all of those positive things. Celebrate them, celebrate you!

I hope your feelings of gratitude for who and what you are carry you forth through this day and all the days to come! It all starts from your list of positive traits and characteristics. So have at it… celebrate gratitude! Celebrate you! Have a splendid day!



Feelings of Giving Up and Hopelessness

Good morning! I have been assent for the past two days, and you visited anyway. Thank you for that. I hope you found information that was useful for you.

Today, the search term which touched my heart was “feelings of giving up and hopelessness.” So, now that you have learned the process of how to forgive, let’s turn our attention to healing and getting past hopelessness.

This term touched my heart deeply because I was once at the place of giving up. I was praying to die because I felt my life had no purpose, that the abuse I had suffered early in life was only for the purpose of making my life miserable. And because I was there, praying to die, I recall how miserable I felt, and so, I wish to be of use to those of you who are struggling with giving up.

I gently say, please do not give up. Things can get better. There is hope. For your life to turn around, you need to muster up all your energy and take one action. Can you do that for me? Will you promise you’ll do this one thing? It has two parts. Will you do them? Great. Let’s proceed…

When I was at my lowest low, praying to die because I was too afraid to kill myself, I was able to get out of that space by being of use to another person who was in the middle of feelings of hopelessness. I shared one thing that had been useful for me, and he was so grateful, tears came to his eyes.

You, too, can do the same thing. Here’s how. The first step of this process is to get a notebook, a wire-bound one, even available at 7-11 for a couple of bucks. Start writing in it every morning, even for 15 minutes… printing, with your “other” hand, your non-dominant hand. Write about your feelings of hopelessness, why you are feeling hopeless, what the circumstances of your life are that lead to those feelings. Write about your past that has led up to these feelings.

What you will find is that all sorts of deep emotions will well up and flow onto the page. You may find yourself sobbing and this is okay. Keep going. You may need to take a break to allow yourself to feel your emotions, yet, feel them. Allow yourself to just “be” with them.  Try not to numb your feelings with substances or activity. Certainly, if you are having difficulty dealing with the feelings that arise. consider getting therapy assistance. Sometimes, this is free or low-cost at your county mental health department.

When you are able to look at and feel those feelings of hopelessness, you begin to heal from them. Remember, the only way out of them is through them. What you resist, persists. When you shine light on those dark and depressing emotions, you begin to heal.

At the end of each writing session, write down one thing for which you are grateful, just one thing. Allow yourself to hold onto that one thing throughout the day. It may be as simple as the fact that you are able to write. Just be grateful.

After a time of doing this, you will see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

Now, be on the lookout for someone else who is feeling that feeling of hopelessness, too, someone who is despairing. Share with them the writing exercise, including the one thing for which to be grateful. Focus on them, not you, for the entire time you are speaking with them. Be a good listener of their woes, and then encourage them to write about it, print about it, with their non-dominant hand. Share with them what this experience has been like for you.

Walk away from that experience knowing that you have made a positive impact on someone else’s life. When you realize this, you will begin to feel more and more hope as you help more and more people. You will feel useful, that you have purpose. Make it a mission to help another and this will help with your hopelessness.

I wish you well on your journey.


Living in Gratitude

Good morning, all! Today I would like to talk about gratitude – how to live with it every day, how it benefits us to do so. One of my images from my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing is Visions of Gratitude, as seen here on the right.

Visions of Gratitude

The verse that accompanies this image is: “When I look with eyes that appreciate, everything around and within me is more pleasing, more beautiful.”

This has been my experience. The more I look around and appreciate all that I have, all that is in my life, the more pleasing life is in general. The more pleasant it is. The more grumbling I do about things, the more anger and dissatisfaction I feel. It’s my choice, and I like to feel good, so I choose looking with appreciation at all that I have.

We can all practice looking for the good in our lives, looking for things about which we are grateful. It starts from the moment we wake up… we can be grateful simply for waking up to have another day to live to our fullest, to experience life and all it presents.

Even if we are in the middle of hard times, we can be grateful that 1), we can feel the pain, because when we feel pain, we also feel joy when the pain clears, and 2), we can be grateful that from the difficult time, we will grow our spirit, our character.

When we express gratitude for all that we have, our demeanor is one of cheerfulness, of happiness. We are a joy and a pleasure to be around. We set a good example for others to show their gratitude.

Today, I am grateful for my home, my warmth, my kitty who is my companion, my health, my job… I am especially grateful to be an alcoholic because it led me to recovery and that led to healing that has occurred in my sobriety. Recovery has led to all the peace and happiness I have searched for all my life.

What are you grateful for today in your world? Leave a comment and share with us your joy and gratitude.


Gratitude for Another Day

Good morning and I hope your Christmas day was filled with gratitude – for the day’s blessings and for staying sober. One person searched for Christmas day, their first day sober. Today is their second and I hope it goes well for them.

Visions of Gratitude

Today I’m talking about gratitude for yet another day, and specifically, for my sobriety. I am very grateful for the day of sobriety on Christmas day. There were times in my life when staying sober on Christmas was very difficult, but I made it through by expressing gratitude throughout the day.

I keep my eye and heart on the abundance I am experiencing, rather than the scarcity. For example, my sister sent several gifts for me to put under the tree, and I am so grateful she did. It completed the feeling of Christmas. It led me to feel wanted, appreciated and I am grateful.

If I’d had no gifts, I could have been grateful for the tree and the joy it brings to the room. If I’d had no tree, I could have expressed gratitude for my home, my cat, food, and my health. The point is, there is always something to be grateful for, even if it is the smallest thing.

When I was first sober, I had difficulty showing gratitude for anything. I was too mired in the emotional pain I felt over my past. I went through a period of great anger and sadness over those feelings, those experiences.

It wasn’t until I’d done some healing work that I was able to write a gratitude list, listing out the basic things for which I was grateful. It included things like being grateful for my abilities at renovation. You saw the results of my renovation skills yesterday, in the picture of the van I rebuilt.

I am most grateful for those skills, as I am for other abilities I have. Today, I am grateful for my past, as it has made me into what and who I am today, with knowledge of what it’s like to be abused, so I can relate to others who have been or are being abused, so I can offer words of encouragement, support, so I can relay what happened to me to led me to be grateful for the abuse.

That story is another post. Today, I invite you to make a gratitude list, listing out the most simple and basic things for which you are grateful. When I made a gratitude list, I found that as I listed out those things, I was able to express gratitude for more and more things. It became a self-perpetuating situation, a little grew and grew until I was grateful for every little thing.

I wish for you gratitude for another day, another day of sobriety, if you are a sober person. If you practice gratitude, I hope it lifts your spirits. Have a pleasant day, filled with gratitude.


A Day of Gratitude

“Good morning,” she says while it is still barely morning… and Happy Thanksgiving, a day of gratitude. It’s almost noon and I haven’t gotten around to blogging yet. Yikes! Today, let’s talk again about gratitude, seeing as this is the day of Thanksgiving. I’d like to share with you the things for which I am grateful.

First, my home. After having lived in a van for three years and often not knowing where I was going to park for the night, worried all the time about the police coming in the middle of the night, I am so grateful to have my own house. I am grateful for the way I have it decorated, for it feeds my soul.

I have much gratitude for my kitty, Izzy, for letting me pet her often. You see, she is a feral and is shy of me, even after seven or eight years. She will not allow me to hold her, nor does she come onto my lap, but she walks in front of me all the time for pets. I feel so grateful to be shown her affection and for me to have a being on whom I can bestow my overflowing affection.

My sobriety is a source of gratitude, hugely, if that is a word. Without my sobriety, I would be dead, most likely. And, if not, then I’d be out on the streets. I show gratitude every day for waking up without a hang-over, clear-headed… That gratitude stretches to the healing that has occurred in the past twelve years. Much of that occurred after the fifth and sixth years, and I am so grateful for that. I would like to express gratitude over the forgiveness I discovered, which has led me to great peace and freedom.

I have gratitude for my 91 Honda wagon with the purple interior and faded paint on the hood and roof, for it is a great car, still going strong with 190,000+ on it. It suits me so well and has lots of room to cart my books around, in addition to everything I need when I do a speaking gig.

I am grateful for my family and friends, that they have stuck by me through thick and thin. Again, I have so much gratitude for the forgiveness I accidentally discovered, and have been able to forgive my parents. That has set me free.

There are many more things for which I have gratitude… my clarity, my health, the ability to walk and talk, to reason, to feel my emotions, to feel both joy and disappointment, and more.

And how about you? For what do you have gratitude? Leave a comment and let us know. 🙂


Gratitude for Waking Up Sober

“Gratitude for waking up sober” just jumped off the page for me, so I want to address that today. Boy, where to start? It is hard to know, because I am so overwhelmingly grateful for my sobriety. But for me, perhaps the most prevalent thing I am grateful for is that I do not have a hang over. I awaken clear-headed and I have so much gratitude for that!

I have gratitude that I can drive any time I want to, and I am not under the influence. I have gratitude that I can feel the range and host of feelings that I do. I have gratitude today for just about everything. But it wasn’t always this way. Oh, no, it wasn’t.

It used to be that early in sobriety, when I was going to 4-5 meetings a day, I would often meet my roommate either coming or going to the meeting. The one going would ask the one coming what the topic was, and that person often said “Gratitude,” to which the one going would say, “Oh, not again!”

You see, when I was early in sobriety, perhaps until the first few years were over, I was unable to be grateful. Well, with the exception of my gratitude for not having a hang over, that is. I saw nothing for which to express gratitude. I was still so mired in my hurt, confusion, and rage over my up-bringing, my past, so filled with grief over an unrequited love. It colored everything I did, everything I thought. Even writing gratitude lists as suggested didn’t work for me.

What did work was allowing time to pass and with that, healing occurred. As I began to heal, I began to have the ability to look around, to really see what was around me – the people, the love and support. A whole new world opened up when I became grateful and today, I am grateful for just about everything that occurs around me. And at the core of that, at the core of everything, is my sobriety. It is from this that everything flows.

How about you? For what are you grateful? As we move into Thanksgiving, the day of gratitude, what are your reflections, what do you see? Leave a comment and let us know.


The Power of Gratitude

When put to use, gratitude is very powerful. Even more so, it is magical.

I will move into gratitude today for two reasons – 1) it was a search term and 2) it enhances everything you do in life, and it can help you maintain sobriety. Gratitude assists in the forgiveness process, too.

What is gratitude? According to Webster, it is a feeling of thankful appreciation for favors or benefits. To me, gratitude is pleasing and I am thankful for what I have received, whether I have asked for it or not. I am thanking a higher being, or source, showing and sharing my gratitude.

There was a long period in sobriety during which I could not be grateful for anything. In fact, my roommate and I used to meet each other while one was on the way from a meeting and one was on her way to a meeting. The question would always be, “What was the topic?” The answer invariably was “Gratitude,” to which the other would exclaim, “Gratitude AGAIN??”

The thing is, I could not get past the hurt and pain of my past enough to be grateful for anything. It took me several years sober before I seemingly overnight, began to have extreme gratitude. Oh, but I remember the incident vividly. It is the same day that I realized my life’s purpose and my calling.

Once I did, the whole world changed for me in my ability to be grateful for all the gifts I was receiving. In fact, I began to look at my experiences as gifts from which to learn and grow, to heal and thrive.

I still do today… look at experiences as gifts for my learning, healing, and growing, and I see them with gratitude. Sometimes, when I am in the middle of it, I don’t see it as a gift, though. But it works its way through, and I begin to see the gift. Staying sober helps a great deal with that, and that’s the topic of another blog.

If you’re having difficulty being grateful, expressing gratitude, then try this. Every morning when you wake up, whether you lie awake for awhile, or bound right out of bed, feel gratitude for waking up. That’s it, just for waking up.

Even if you would rather not continue with life and not waking up sounds like the solution for you, set that aside for a bit if you can, and just be grateful you woke up on this day, that you have one more day to hope that things will turn around today, or one more day to stay sober. Whatever your difficulty, think of it as one more day to have things change.

It takes courage, and a lot of willingness. And if you’re beat down so low, perhaps those are the only games in town. You have a choice to grab hold of willingness and courage, or keep with the status quo.

Back to our daily exercise. Practice greeting the day with gratitude for two weeks. For the following two weeks, keep doing that and add this: throughout each day, remember back to waking up and being grateful that morning. When you can remember what that  felt like for you, be grateful you were able to experience gratitude, able to be grateful. Be grateful for the courage and willingness you used.

After a while, you will find yourself showing gratitude for getting great parking spaces. It works to elevate your mood, and it’s easier to be around others, and they around you. Remember, gratitude begets gratitude.

How does gratitude manifest for you? Are you able to express it already? If not, was the exercise helpful? Leave a comment and let us know.


Are you resistant to this or even to the exercise?