Count your blessings with the magic of gratitude

by Rebecca J. Clark

Gratitude. According to Zig Ziglar, “The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more things you'll have to express gratitude for.”

Well, that’s all fine and good when life is great. It’s easy to be grateful when your life is easy peasy. But what about the times when life isn’t so great?

About a year ago, one of my friends recommended a book called The Magic by Rhonda Byrne. It is a book about gratitude. Written by the author of The Secret, The Magic suggests how gratitude can change our lives, that we will attract all we want when we practice feeling gratitude. The author wants you to start each day with a list of 10 things you’re grateful for and why. A few of my friends had started this daily practice and they said it changed their lives. According to the law of attraction, "like attracts like" and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results (from the explanation on Wikepedia).

Well, I did my gratitude list for a while, felt good about it, but eventually got out of the habit. Then last October, my husband lost his job. And with the job market the way it is (sucky!), the future was looking a bit gloom. I decided to start my daily gratitude list again. And I’ve stuck to it every single day since then.

Have I seen Magic appear in my life? Has my life become easy-peasy? Um, no. In fact, life has gotten harder. My husband is still unemployed with no prospects; we’ve had some family illnesses (MIL diagnosed with cancer) and drama; household issues (does everything really need to break at the same time?). Etc, etc.

So, I guess this Magic Gratitude thing doesn’t work then, eh? Well… I think it does. Every morning I list 10 things I’m grateful for, 10 good things in my life. And each night before bed, I think about 5 things that happened today I’m grateful for. Then I think of the one very best thing that happened today.

By book-ending my day with gratitude, I think it’s given me the correct attitude to deal with all the crap that life has thrown my way lately. It’s like looking through the rain to find the rainbow every day. It doesn’t make life easier (wouldn’t that be nice?), but it certainly makes the negative stuff easier to deal with.

Side note: As I write this post, I am also watching the devastating story on the news about the massive mudslide across the county I live in. [read the story] Several people have lost their lives, houses have been destroyed, and many people are still missing and presumed dead, and the threat of massive flooding is imminent.

Boy, does this put my life and troubles in perspective or what? My issues are nothing compared to this. I am grateful I have a house. I am grateful I don’t live at the base of a hill or in a floodzone. I am grateful that my family is alive and well. I could go on and on.

I find myself stuck to the news like glue as I watch the story unfold, wishing there was more I could do other than donate to Red Cross [donate here]. Even in this devastation, miracles are being reported. The man who just happened to go to the grocery store at the time of the slide—his house is gone. The entire family who just happened to be at a baseball game—their house is gone. The woman who decided to stop at McDonalds—if she hadn’t, she’d have been driving on the stretch of road taken out by the slide. The dog that had been swept 100 yards and presumed dead, then was dug up the next day—bruised and beaten, but alive.

My troubles are nothing. I have much to be grateful for. Now, excuse me while I go write down my gratitude list for the day…

P.S. For the next seven days, I will donate all the profits of my indie books (The Checklist Diet and Shameless) to the disaster relief. So please help me spread the word.

The Checklist Diet



  1. This is a great reminder of all we have to be grateful for. I had hard times too, am on the backside of it now and am so thankful. I bought your diet book for the Oso donation and love the tips and tricks!
    Thanks for writing this. I'm off to do my list of grateful things now...

  2. Thanks, Kim. For commenting, for buying my book and supporting the disaster, and for being grateful. Some days are easier than others, eh? :)

  3. What an inspiring, entertaining, and moving post. Very, very sad about the mudslide. I live in Oklahoma, where we are famous for tornadoes destroying our cities, so I understand some of what they are going through. (I live near and am from and my family and friend are in Moore, OK, which seems to get the worst of it, namely the horrific tornado in May of last year). My thoughts and prayers are with the people in that area. Thank you for your kind efforts. I just purchased both books, and I will donate to the Red Cross also.

    I love your attitude on gratitude (hmmm, did I just coin a phrase, or have I heard that somewhere? 'An attitude of gratitude' :-)) I am going to try to make my gratitude list daily also. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey Alicia, Thanks for stopping by. :)

      Natural disasters are so heartbreaking, especially the ones that come with no warning like tornadoes and mudslides. Thanks for the donations--much appreciated.

      Sometimes gratitude is hard to come by. But there is always something to be thankful for. Always.

  4. I too discovered the power of Gratitude. I write a short Gratitude post on facebook every night before going to bed. It puts my mind in a good place by reminding me of all the good I have to be grateful for. I believe that puts my mind in a better place before going to sleep.

    I find I'm not easily drawn into worry the way I used to be. And I tend to keep the word, believe, front and center as I send my books out into the world.

    Living just across the border from Washington State, we've been watching as the mud-slide tragedy unfolds and my heart goes out to everyone. Kudos for your donation. I'm waiting to see if my Seattle writing sisters put together a benefit auction I can participate in.

    1. Hey Kathryn,
      I love your idea of posting your gratitude on FB for all the world to see. Gratitude spreads gratitude, eh? And it has helped me be less of a worry-wart. It puts things in perspective, as does the Oso tragedy.

  5. Oh Rebecca, what an amazing post. I hate hearing the term 'natural disaster'...there is nothing 'natural' about having miles of mud slide down from a mountain to devastate entire neighborhoods. It's so heartbreaking. We see it all in our own parts of the country. Tornadoes, earthquakes, sinkholes, mudslides, flooding, fires and hurricanes...they come, they destroy lives, and demolish everything in their path...and all we can do is watch in horror, or offer prayers and help in some small way. Thank you for reminding me of all the ways I am blessed. I'd already purchased both books but will definitely donate to the cause. I'm off to make my gratitude list as well.

    1. That is a horrible term, isn't it? "Natural" should have positive connotations, not something so tragic. It does put things in perspective and makes me count my own blessings, yet I still feel so helpless. My heart breaks for everyone in that community.