It's easy when I bounce someone else's baby on my knee and he grins back at me.
It's easy when I pull a jar of blackcurrant jam from the back of the cupboard in the depth of winter, and spoon condensed summer onto my toasted teacake.
It's easy when I receive an email from a reader telling me that Leonard, the kindly gardener from my book 'A Blue Handbag', accompanied her through her skin cancer surgery.
But sometimes the practice of gratitude is more challenging.
We don't feel grateful when we offer the chocolates around and someone takes the last caramel square (the one we had our eye on).
We don't feel grateful when the cat plants a trail of muddy footprints on our freshly-washed white sheets.
We don't feel grateful when we're in a hurry to get home and our car dies at a roundabout.
Sometimes, things go wrong. People let us down. We don't get what we hoped for. We disappoint ourselves.
Gratitude can help us to live through darker times.
It can remind us of everything we do have to be grateful for. We can enjoy the pleasure on our grandma's face as she enjoys her caramel square. We can stroke our cat's belly and listen to him purr. We can be grateful for car mechanics, and mobile phones.
It can also help us to find the learning in our difficult situations. Once we stop blaming the world for being horrid, we might find a lesson we can learn. We might be able to hear something that we couldn't hear before. We might be able to help someone else through the same darkness.
Can we open up to the difficult bits? Can we say yes to blackcurrant jam AND muddy footprints? Can we say thank you for everything?
Causes Fiona Robyn Supports