I learned about the importance of a daily gratitude practice while participating in a Clinical Pastoral Education Residency at Duke Medical Center. I was struggling to find something positive in the midst of all the death and suffering I was witnessing. My CPE Supervisor encouraged me to begin keeping a daily gratitude journal in which I was to list 3 things for which I was thankful. At first it felt almost impossible. By the end of the first week I found it much easier and I began to fee...

I learned about the importance of a daily gratitude practice while participating in a Clinical Pastoral Education Residency at Duke Medical Center. I was struggling to find something positive in the midst of all the death and suffering I was witnessing. My CPE Supervisor encouraged me to begin keeping a daily gratitude journal in which I was to list 3 things for which I was thankful. At first it felt almost impossible. By the end of the first week I found it much easier and I began to feel more hopeful and at peace. In response, my Supervisor upped the ante and told me to write down 5 things I was grateful for each day plus he introduced me to the writings of Br. David Steindl Rast and other researchers on the topic of gratefulness. I have continued this practice for 27 years. I don’t write every day, but my daily devotional time includes prayers of thanksgiving for something for which I am grateful. I have learned the art of living in the present moment, which has enriched my life immensely. I began to finally understand why my parents always told me to count my blessings daily!

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1 month ago