Where’s your gratitude attitude?
Sometimes, gratitude can be a bit tricky. “What am I thankful for?” is a question we’d all like to easily answer with emphatic joy, but on occassion, coming up with a long list in response is a challenge. Life coach and gratitude enthusiast Michele Wahlder presents a fun and easy way to practice gratitude in her book, Alphatudes: The Alphabet of Gratitude. The concept is simple: use the ABCs. Wahlder came up with the technique one night while battling insomnia. The result was an energetic and deepening appreciation for the blessings in her life. “As we choose to practice gratitude over a period of time, we are able to significantly increase our personal range of happiness,” she writes in the introduction.
I attempted this exercise when I first received the book, and quickly found myself stuck. Looking over Wahlder’s list, my choices seemed quite immature compared to offerings such as forgiveness, imagination, serendipity, understanding, and yes. Here enters the beauty of Alphatudes: it’s your practice! Appreciate what you want to appreciate–apples, books, and cake included. There are no right or wrong answers, but know that the author’s included some great choices should you need assistance. If you’re going to be a stickler about it, you may want to give consideration to your answers for ‘x’ and ‘z’ ahead of time.
Alphatudes can be read in one sitting, although reading a little at a time optimizes its effectiveness. The book’s layout is simple, offering an illustration, quote, affirmation, prayer and inspirational narrative for each letter of the alphabet. My favorite aspects of the book were the prayers and affirmations. The illustrations are more fitting for a children’s book, but I wondered if they were crafted to strengthen the connection between childhood and the alphabet. At any rate, it’s something of a minor detail. By the time you finish, you’ll be on a natural high. With consistent practice, identifying what you’re grateful for will be a breeze.