The Truth About Gratitude

I don’t want this to be just another post about gratitude, where I tell you this is a good time of year to be grateful.

I want to take it a little further with a quick story.

When I started teaching Shrink Session years ago, the attendance in my classes was kind of hit or miss.

Sometimes I would have 30-40 people in class, which thrilled me.

But every now and then, I would only get about 15 people. Which bummed me out.

When the classes were smaller, I’m not sure I did a great job of hiding my disappointment. Mostly because I thought the lack of people meant something about my own lack.

I am not good enough.
People don’t like this.
Maybe I am failing.

A few times, I made this huge mistake.

I started to realize that by thinking, “Where is everyone? There are not enough people here,” I was actually being extremely disrespectful to the people that WERE there.

I mean, there were 15 beautiful souls in the room, waiting and wanting me to lead them in feeling energized, confident and wonderful in their bodies.

And by focusing on who was NOT there, it was sort of a big ‘screw you’ to the people that actually showed up.

Do you understand what I’m saying?

I might as well have turned to a student and said, “You are not enough, ‘Rachel.’ I would be much more satisfied if there were 15 more of you.”

There is no way that made ‘Rachel’ feel good. Or valued. Or appreciated.

Once I recognized this, I changed my tune and my teaching changed as well.

So to me, this is what gratitude is really about. It’s about focusing on what you DO have and honoring the heck out of it.

It is about making the people and things that you DO have in your life, feel like kings, queens and treasured items! (Yes, I think your things feel when you appreciate them!)

My friend, what you appreciate, appreciates.

What you appreciate grows, develops and becomes bigger.

And, when we honor what we DO have, life simply becomes sweeter. In every way.

It’s just the way it goes. And to me, THAT is what gratitude is really about.

So, with that dear Gorgeous, I just want you to know how much I appreciate you allowing me space in your inbox, and for taking the time to put your eyeballs on these words, and frankly any words of mine you read.

And while we may have never met in person, you are certainly a treasure in my life.

If you are celebrating, may you enjoy this holiday season and may your heart be filled with gratitude and thankfulness for all that you DO have.

I invite you to leave a comment below and share what or who you are appreciating, today. It’s always good to name it concretely. And then, of course even better to go out into the world to show it.

With love,




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47 Responses to The Truth About Gratitude

  1. Zita says:

    Dear Erin,

    I am grateful, that I found you and that you are a part of my life, though we never met in person. You are an AWESOME human being and you really light up my life and it is so amazing that you take the time and thank us, your readers, every time, that we read your words! OF COURSE WE READ IT! ’cause you’re awesome 😀

    Keep on shining 🙂

  2. Metta says:

    Erin – I appreciate you! I get a lot of newsletters in my box and yours is one of the only ones I read through and come onto the website to finish reading the post. To me, your perspective is a bit more real and different, or rests differently in my brain, than some other newsletters I read. You provide for me a different kind of honesty that makes me think in new ways and helps me with my own self-reflection. Thank you!

  3. Thank you, dear Erin, I appreciate your sentence “And while we may have never met in person, you are certainly a treasure in my life” in your latest email. This is a reminder that we are all special and a treasure in someone’s life.

    Today is my Birthday and wishes and greetings came flooding in through Facebook and old-fashioned ways of connection. And I appreciate all of them.

    And I appreciate my cousin’s call who shared something with me that finally helped me understand how I can completely heal the relationship with my mother.

    We are not as close as I was and am with my late father. I was never good enough in her eyes, at least that is what I thought. Today I realized that she had the same feeling towards her own mother. She never felt the love she was longing for. We are repeating a family pattern which I will break and heal now once and for all.

    I appreciate this healing.I appreciate you asking what I appreciate.

  4. amy says:

    You are a treasure as well… thank you!!
    I am thankful for moments…every moment that I get!!

  5. Jennifer says:

    I am very Thankful for my family and friends…they left me up and help me to be the best version of myself. I am also very thankful that I found you! Your updates in my email and Lisa from Whole Health Designs help to keep me on track and nourishing my body with foods that will help me to thrive! Thank you for being you!

  6. Kathleen says:

    I am grateful for a husband who helps out, and I am grateful for a good washing machine that gets our clothes clean.

  7. Lisa says:

    I appreciate that my sons are home from college for the Thanksgiving break and I can look at their beautiful faces again. I am grateful that we will all be together for the holiday.

  8. Jackie says:

    Oh my dearest Erin,
    This post. Oh my goodness, it is so what I needed! I loved what you said about being grateful for what we currently have, because it really is so much. What a beautiful reminder and I loved your story to illustrate it! Today I am grateful for my friendships and my family. They have been so supportive of me, especially this last few months which have been difficult. I have a lot of joy in my life and so many fun and exciting things coming up. I really am very lucky. Thank you for the reminder. Happy Thanksgiving!!

    Jackie O.

  9. Jay says:

    I am grateful and thankful for my whole family and my dear friends and acquaintances. Additionally,I’m also appreci

  10. Brogan says:

    I’m so thankful for this post today. How powerful a small mindshift can be!

    I’ll work hard at remembering this amazing lesson. Every small step is a massive achievement, and even with small numbers comes great responsibility!

    Thanks Erin 🙂

  11. Andrea says:

    I am grateful for all what I already have now. I’m grateful because I have a place to live in. I have food, water.
    I can go out and enjoy the nature. I am grateful for all my friends and the people I have in my side.
    I am grateful for my beautiful family & specially my mother.
    Thank you for sharing with us all your thoughs and this newsletter =D

  12. Jay says:

    I am grateful and thankful for my whole family and my dear friends and acquaintances. And I must include YOU, Erin, for who you are and the way you articulate, share, and endeavor to make us all better souls. May God bless you forever!!

  13. Lydia says:

    Dear Erin,
    First I must admit, I have never posted on your blog or any other blog before. However, reading your post I was amazed at how timely it was for me. You see, I am sitting in the at with my incredible husband and we are waiting to go into CrossFit. It happens to be our 20th wedding anniversary today! I am so very grateful for having him as my best friend, life partner and the father of my children. He is the most kind, caring, funny and honerable man I know. Thank you for this post and reminding me to actively show my gratitude!

  14. Christina says:

    Thank you Erin for your beautiful words and I am grateful that I found you and you have become a part of my life. May you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

    I am grateful for a wonderful husband who supports me no matter what I want to do or not do. He is the love of my life.

    I am grateful for my sister who knows me inside and out and loves me anyway. She means the world to me.

    I am grateful for the those small moments that I get every day, for example, the beautiful sunrise that I saw this morning.

    And finally, I am grateful for my mother who sticks to her beliefs and forges ahead no matter what life throws at her. I love her very much.

    Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

  15. Jessica says:

    I am grateful for Connie Chapmans “Awaken Radio” where I found you and a whole slew of wonderful role models. In the past month I have paved a path to work at my 9-5 part time and complete a long time dream of mine to attend Yoga Teacher Training in the spring. I have all intentions on changing my life and connecting with myself and others on a deeper level. 🙂 I AM THANKFUL FOR YOU and your guidance in helping me get there.

  16. Katie Lee says:

    Today I am appreciating that my husband is working from home and we get to have little moments of connection and fun throughout the day.

    I also appreciate that my life has given me the time, energy and extra abundance to be able to drive a car load of donations to the Syrian Refugees who have arrived in Minnesota. It’s a lot to be grateful for to have enough to give to someone else.

    Thanks Erin for the space to reflect.

  17. Erin, what a great post, I am grateful for you. I have taken 1 of your classes and loved it.

  18. Gabbie Kashmiry says:

    I appreciate that you’ve given all of us this open forum to appreciate all that we have in our lives!

    So much to appreciate, my body for all that it does, my husband for always loving, supporting and challenging me, my son for teaching me how to be a parent, my three step children for all that they bring to our blended family, my extended family, friends, a warm home, the bright son and a great festive Thanksgiving tomorrow!

  19. Colby Proffitt says:

    Today I am grateful for life, plain and simple. If we look back at the end of the day we can usually always find where God has sprinkled joy somewhere in our day. I believe most times happiness is a choice and being grateful makes it easier to choose happiness!! Erin thank you for being a beautiful amazing example of joy in our lives!! ?

  20. hilde denys says:

    Dear Erin,I allways enjoy reading your mails, your enthusiasm is contagious. A couple days ago I read an article about being thankful. In bed before getting up and when lying down for sleep I list 10 items and it makes me feel happy. This feeling is so nice that during the day just to feel happy I think about something I am grateful for and I feel happy. But your suggestion is one step further indeed.

  21. Micah Tjeerdsma says:

    I have so many things to be grateful and thankful for! But the most important one, after the Lord, is my husband. He’s adorable and sweet and funny and a hard worker. He loves me just as I am, but wants me to be happy with who I am. He wants me to succeed with him and on my own. He is my biggest cheerleader.

  22. Natalie says:

    Even though I have to work my brother and nephews are here for thanksgiving and I got to spend the morning with them. I will be able to spend some time with them and the rest of my family tomorrow before going to work too. My youngest nephew turned 13 today it’s great being able to spend some time with him on his birthday. There is always something to be grateful for even on difficult days when I have to try harder to pull myself away from negative thinking. Being around my niece and nephews always manages to remind me to appreciate and be grateful.

  23. Sara Born says:

    Our household income has dropped over the last few years. Several years ago the wonderful company hubby worked for closed down, and it was devastating. As a result, we’ve been drawing down our savings and retirement funds for years. So frustrating! I recently had a revelation while out jogging (thanks to you). I’ve been looking at this all wrong! Like you, I failed to appreciate what we do have. I realized that I will look back on this period of our lives and see how lucky we are to have built a savings account to support our lifestyle. Unlike many people in our industry, we still have our beautiful home. And we will make it through this rough spot. Worrying about it only deprives me of the joy in my life, of appreciating what we do have. So as I look around my beautiful home of 17 years, instead of fussing about the bank account balances, I’m loving being here. I’m claiming my joy, and focusing on the abundance that fills my life. Much of which can’t be bought with any amount of money.

    And while I’m counting my blessings, I must tell you that I’m really, really happy you came into my life! I thank you for the movement in my body, literally. My back is healthier and stronger than it has been in years! I’m jogging several times a week now. And I’m 61!! Your freebie workout was the beginning of big change in my life. And we still have room to grow! Thank you, dear Erin!!!


  24. Kirsten says:

    I am grateful for the patient family I live with and the family I was born into, whom I will get to see tomorrow. I always feel grounded, grateful, happy and reassured when I am surrounded by my parents, six brothers, and my inspiring sister (whose name is Erin!), not to mention my nieces and nephews. So grateful for this chance to visi
    the them.

    Thank you, Erin. You send so much goodness into the world.

  25. Kirsty says:

    Wow…thank you! This was like a little wake up call! I have been doing a lot of dreaming these past few weeks; house renovations, bigger piece of land, how to get my family from one part of the world to visit me in nz…yup lotto wins are featuring a lot! But then I read your email…I have an amazing husband, we both work hard and have 3 beautiful kids, we have our own home and we’re all healthy and we have amazing family and friends who care for us; for these things I am truly grateful! So thank you Erin…you reminded me that what I have is amazing and whilst dreams are great and something to aim for – I’m going to get better at appreciating and giving thanks in the here and now for what I have!

  26. Mayra says:

    Thank you Erin. Reading this, truly made me feel at peace. I’m grateful for health, that of my children, family and my own.

  27. Maureen says:

    This was perfect timing for me, Erin, as I try to focus on building my small business. I was all gung-ho at first but when things slowed down, so did I. It’s only recently that I’m starting to realize that it’s important for ME that I put my all into it and make it work. Now to answer your question about what I appreciate. Most definitely, it’s my good health and good fortune in being able to spend time with my husband, children, grandchildren, mom, sisters, and friends on a regular basis. I appreciate the internet for keeping me in touch with other family and friends not geographically close enough to see often. Finally, I appreciate your enthusiasum, approachability and honesty – and have from the first day I signed up for one of your online sessions. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  28. Madeleine says:

    I appreciate your integrity and love, Erin. Sadly, in this world I see it less and less everyday and it’s a gift to see it in you and the other wonderful souls that are participating in this challenge. I’m also grateful for my coworker who covered my shift for me today because im feeling nauseous. And it’s snowing and I’m really excited to wear my snowboots tomorrow!

  29. Tachira says:

    Hi Erin this post is just what I needed today ? I do appreciate all of your emails . They add a little sunshine to my day . I am grateful for my mother she really is the best . I also am grateful for my job . Sometimes we get a little stuck and focus on what we lack and forget all the little things we have to appreciate . Thanks again for all your efforts . Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family .

  30. Judanne says:

    I appreciate my family ( my fantastic husband and soulmate and my three beautiful boys); the job I have which is flexible, supportive and fun; I appreciate all my friends;my home ; my cat; all my medical help; living in Canberra; the windy day that today is. I appreciate ALL of you!Thankyou for being poart of my life

  31. Maria says:

    I am grateful for you, for my family, my husband for everything he does for my kids and myself, for our home, neighbours, friends…for be better everyday, for the light, peace, love and blessings, thank you universe, thank you God thank you!!!!!

  32. roshan says:

    I LOVE YOU! Period! Thank you!

  33. Claudia says:

    Thank you Erin, I love and appreciate your insights and your thought provoking questions. I am grateful to my friend Donna for sharing your information with me, you make my day brighter 🙂

  34. Julia says:

    Dear Erin!

    You are such a joyous shining star! I truly love reading your emails and can echo many of your other readers thoughts. I especially am feeling pretty grateful for your post today as it was a great cosmic hug that made me feel really valued and special-so thank you for that! You are such an inspiration and I would love to be able to spend a class with you with only 15 people-it would be such an honour to share space and energy with you! Keep doing what you do and here’s a giant sparkly hug right back to say how much I appreciate you!

  35. SJ says:

    Today I’m thankful for the fact that it seems like no matter what – I will not stop trying. I’ve disappointed myself countless times by failing to follow through and well “finish” something – even the seemingly ‘small things’ like THIS (the 30day health challenge that is about to start here). So regardless of this consistent pattern I seem to have and my life (and horrible track record) I keep trying, and today I am grateful for that. I am so committed to breaking this pattern. Wishing you, Erin, and everyone on this blog community a happy & healthy holiday…and I so look forward to starting up this upcoming ‘challenge’!

  36. Michelle says:

    What a wonderful blog post. I so appreciate that you shared that story with us. It reminds me to enjoy every moment no matter how “small.”

  37. Ashley says:

    Thank you Erin,

    I am grateful for so much today, one being the email I just received from you. I am grateful that my family, partner and friends are safe and healthy. I am grateful to be living in a fantastic country where the sun is constantly shining and I am grateful for myself, just because.

    Thank you for all your wonderful posts, I love them.

    Cant wait for next weeks challenge.

  38. Rosemary says:

    Thank you Erin, you are always such an inspiration! I love reading your emails and blog, and the videos with the exercises and mantras make me feel instantly energized and positive!

  39. Ashima says:

    Hi Erin, what an awesome post. A post that everyone must read everyday. I am so much in gratitude for a radiantly happy and healthy body. I am so grateful for abundance and prosperity in all aspects of my life. I am so thankful to god for amazing kids spouse parents brother. I’m so grateful for an awesome and spacious house. Thank you Erin.

  40. Christine says:

    This really resonates with me and I have found this too be true. Living in gratitude takes intention in a society where everything is disposable and where we are told that there is something bigger and better around every corner. Thank you for using your voice to bring light to something real and important.

  41. Pat says:

    Hi Erin,
    Today iam very grateful as the sun is shining and iam very grateful that I find you through Louise hay.
    Thank you.

  42. Sheryle says:

    Last year I got two new knees despite the concerns of physician that I was too heavy for the operation and usually heavy people didn’t get any more active after their knee replacements. I spoke with another surgeon who recognized how small my world had become with two bad knees. I am so thankful for this body I have hated my whole life!! It bravely carried me through the 2 operations and a couple of complications so well. It made me stop and realize that hating my body as I did meant I was hating “me” every single day– viciously and relentlessly. I’m so proud– my body and me- made it through the whole thing!!!! Today- one year later- I am 82 pounds lighter- I’m active at a local gym—and the hater has been replaced by an incredulous admirer. I still wajke up every day so happy, full of thankfulness that “we”– my body and I made this journey– I’m just at the beginning– I still have 150 pounds or so to leave se– but I know “we” can make it and the journey is just as exciting as getting to the end!! Happy Thanksgiving!

  43. Kathleen says:

    What you’ve just said is something I’ve very recently been trying to focus on. My life of late has been going through a bit of an upheaval with lots of uncertainty and things not going as planned. I started becoming depressed which is unusual for me, because I was placing my attention on what wasn’t there instead of what is. I finally realized that as long as I’m doing my best then the rest I can let go. By thinking this way I can lend more of my attention on what’s good in my life.

  44. Jill says:

    I am so thankful for discovering this post in my email. It reminded me to remember all of the things I am thankful for. Specifically, my great relationship with my boyfriend and the total acceptance he gives me, spiritually and physically.

  45. Charlee says:

    I recently heard a great line to say to the universe, “Yes, more of that please”. This way my little successes and grateful manifestation are specific and habitual.

  46. Janie says:

    My Gratitude is changing in my age level of 68 yrs. and
    Enjoying my new surroundings in Pacific Grove with a
    Small community that gossips, and not part of it.