Practicing Gratitude

A Guide To Help You Notice The Good In Your Daily Life

Posted Sep 17, 2017

Photo by Kristin Meekhof- with author Rod Styker
Source: Photo by Kristin Meekhof- with author Rod Styker

This summer, much of the world seemed to stop for a brief moment to catch a glimpse of the eclipse. It was a big ado. People gathered and trickles of wonder echoed far and wide. While watching the sun fade, I had the pleasure of standing next to Yogarupa Rod Stryker.

Earlier in the day, Rod told me he is turning 60 next month. And in reflecting on his own trips round the sun he shared that gratitude more than illuminates his life.  And one way to thrust ourselves in the path of light and happiness is to practice gratitude.

 I’m so honored and grateful to be able to share with you that I’m collaborating with Dr. Deepak Chopra and Jiyo to create what we will hope will be the world’s largest online Gratitude Journal. For 31 days, starting September 25, Jiyo (free) will give you a suggestion of something to be grateful for. We are going to show appreciation to military, teacher, family and even pets.

As you know, there is usually a back story to most passion projects and well,  I feel a bit sheepish in tell your my gratitude story, but I wanted you to know the impetus to my journey.  

 In 2002, I was throwing a pity party for myself over something very trivial. And my best friend Roy suggested we exchange gratitude lists via email. I grimaced at the suggestion.  The very next day we started this practice. There weren’t compelling moments or any tear- jerker lists, but the positive thoughts were a welcome to my day.

A year later we married and then in September of 2007 both hope and sadness collided. He was diagnosed with bronchitis on Labor Day weekend and little did we know it was actually Stage IV adrenal cancer. Roy died less than eight weeks later.   Throughout the medical crisis we continued to create daily gratitude lists as it was a small way to carry light.

Despite having a earned a master’s degree in social work, nothing prepared me for this event. However,  Roy taught me that gratitude is the answer to every question.

Kristin with Dr. Deepak Chopra- photo belongs to Kristin Meekhof
Source: Kristin with Dr. Deepak Chopra- photo belongs to Kristin Meekhof

Since this time, I’ve had the honor of becoming friends with Dr. Deepak Chopra- a brilliant mind with a generous heart. If you've ever had the opportunity to hear Dr. Chopra speak he often asks you to complete this sentence: I AM.

Generally, there is silence as people search their minds to reply to this prompt. It is the ultimate question. And as I shared, one thing Roy taught me during the medical crisis is that I had control is if I chose gratitude, even despite his diagnosis of a terminal cancer.

For those of you who do not know me, I am a co-author, speaker, runner writer, social worker and most importantly I am grateful to be a part of this Jiyo gratitude (free to join) journey. During the series you will hear Rod Stryker , Deepak Chopra, and other kind souls share their gratitude lists.

If you prize goodness and love beauty, grab your mic (actually, a cell phone will do) and celebrate gratitude with us using the hashtag #GratitudeJournal ,and help us create the world's largest online gratitude journal.

Kristin Meekhof is the co-author of "A Widow's Guide to Healing", a wellness speaker and free- lance writer. She recently spoke the 2017 Harvard Medical School's Writing Conference and has appeared at the United Nations CSW conference at the United Nations headquarters. Kristin earned her undergraduate degree from Kalamazoo College and her graduate degree from the University of Michigan.

On Psychology Today, Kristin Meekhof writes about her journey here.