Finding the Gratitude in the Sh!t

Gratitude is the difference between and ordeal and an adventure
| 3 Minute Read |

There was a time when I would have dismissed the power of gratitude with a “Yes, I know how lucky I am”, as I don’t think I had any idea then that gratitude is as much about ‘rewiring your brain’, as it is about ‘warming your heart’.

I started the practice of gratitude as part of a total well-being and fitness overhaul around four years ago. Although my overall health and fitness has undoubtedly had its ebbs and flows over that time, I’ve never gone a single day without gratitude.  What has changed over the years though, is that what started out as something I had to remind myself to do and would often struggle with, is now just like brushing my teeth in the morning and at night – in fact, I very often go through my gratitude at precisely those times.

So, what do you do if you feel like there is nothing to be grateful for?

We can find ourselves in some pretty dark places depending on what’s going on in our lives – health issues, bereavement, life changes – but is it always possible to find a gratitude?  Well, I had a particular morning like that.  Many of my loved ones were all struggling with serious health issues at the time, I probably hadn’t slept properly for weeks, and as I stood brushing my teeth and trying to muster gratitude, I came up with zero.  The concept of gratitude actually pissed me off that morning.

Bella - Jean's Dog

Our dog, Bella

Finishing my coffee that morning and feeling like I had a rucksack full of bricks on my back, I let my dog out into the back garden for her early morning “constitutional”. As I went out to clear up from her last few days in the garden, I felt a bubble of laughter coming up in me.   I’d found my gratitude for that day.   A hard frost and rock-solid dog sh!t from previous days which made clean-up so much easier.  Frozen sh!t had saved the day – and taught me a valuable lesson.  There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for – still having breath in your body, being able to put your feet on the floor in the morning, having people who care about you, a great cup of coffee, the perfect boiled egg… To be honest, my gratitude rarely relates to things that cost money, it’s almost always the simple things.

When times are good – reflecting on your gratitude really feels like the sun on your face, it will add to your happiness.  In bad times – gratitude is like a light at the end of a long dark tunnel, helping you to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

In either circumstance, it can shift your attitude in the most powerful way, even on a frozen dog sh!t kind of day.


Next Steps

If you’re not sure where to start, you’ll find some great tips here:
Please share your gratitudes in the comments below – what’s helping you?
3 replies
  1. Robin says:

    Jean, love this post. I can’t remember if I shared this quote before with you .. also says it beautifully.
    “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I respond to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
    ~ Charles R. Swindoll


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