Share a Cup of Gratitude

A tool to lighten, inspire, create laughter, and recall fun memories!

The idea for Share a Cup of Gratitude came as a means to gently direct conversation with friends toward the positive. I noticed how often complaining and criticism occupied my speech, and how after a cup of coffee and a chat, I felt defeated instead of lifted. By creating prompt cards to take turns answering, our time became uplifting and humorous, even inspirational. It was fun!

Then trouble hit. In 2020, my mother passed, my marriage failed, fire took my temporary place with all my treasures, Covid separated friends and family, and I fell and injured my body. Staying grateful became a struggle as I tried to focus on what I had left, failing most of the time. Writing down three things I was grateful for each day seemed superficial. A dry exercise.

In Gratitude Works!  Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis and a leading scientific expert on the science of gratitude said, “Reducing gratitude to a technique is to do it an injustice…don’t restrict it to an inner feeling.”

He also said, “Gratitude can lower blood pressure, improve immune function, and facilitate more efficient sleep.” Things I needed.

It was during these hard times I most needed to make the practice of gratitude part of who I was at my core. I forced myself to read books on gratitude, its science and spiritual benefits. It was also a time to face the truth. Life is difficult. There are circumstances I have no control over. Even my own actions seem to be other than I desire. So, yes, I had good reasons to wallow, complain, cry, and give up.

And yet.

When I looked squarely at my circumstances, there was still so much for which to be thankful. As my mother said shortly before she died, “You get to choose what you look at.” It’s a practice.

Slowly, my mind began to transform. Gratitude has become an integral part of me. As Peter Sage says, “When you wake up, the first words you speak should be, Thank you, and I love you.” I say them every day and a spark of joy sets the tone for what lies ahead.

Enter Covid. Has there ever been a time when we’ve been more disconnected? Masks cover smiles. People avert their eyes from one another on the streets, in stores. Fear and panic have crippled our society. I felt a nudge to develop the idea of Share a Cup of Gratitude as a tool to connect us again. To turn our minds and conversations back to a higher place and hopefully help us to embed gratitude as a part of who we are.

Dr. Emmons also said, “The nature of gratitude is important to inspire us to do good, not just feel good.”

So, this is my offering, to share this tool with you. My hope is you’ll invite someone to coffee or tea, even if it’s over the phone, and use these prompts to lighten, inspire, create laughter, and recall fun memories. So, go for it. Share a cup of gratitude!

(Share a Cup of Gratitude logo by Brittany Harris Illustration)