Gretchen Rubin's new book, Happier at Home hits shelves today. I was lucky enough to get an early copy and I absolutely love it!
Gretchen's year-long explorations in personal happiness (The Happiness Project) and happiness at home (Happier at Home) not only inspire important soul work, they are also rollicking adventures through history and into the minds of some of our greatest thinkers.
I've already implemented several suggestions from Happier at Home and I can honestly say that these new practices have literally brought more joy into my life. A great example of this is my new "threshold ritual."
In her chapter on family, Gretchen writes,
"To remind myself to feel grateful for everything I had, and for my dear ordinary life, I decided to 'Follow a threshold ritual.' Each time I stood at the top of my steps, as I fumbled for my keys to turn off the alarm and unlock the two front doors of our building, I repeated, "How happy I am, how grateful I am, to be home." Every time I crossed the threshold from the street into my building, I took a moment to reflect lovingly on my family."
If you read my blog or if you've read The Gifts of Imperfection, you know that I'm a huge believer in the power of gratitude. In my research it was clear that the most joyful people are people who actively practice gratitude.
Honestly, I've been struggling with this lately. With the Daring Greatly book launch around the corner, I've been anxious and stressed - a condition that makes it way too easy to forget how excited and grateful I am.
Now, when I walk into my study - a room that I've turned into a really sacred space for me - I stop at the door, literally at the threshold, and say, "I'm so grateful to do work that I love and to be a part of such an amazing community."
I also have a new coffee threshold.
Every night before we go to bed - even when we're tired and grumpy - we set up our coffee for the next morning. I can't tell you how grounding this ritual is for me.
Now, when I walk up to the coffee maker, I say, "I'm grateful for this day and for this family" and I close my eyes and slowly recite the serenity prayer, "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom or grace to know the difference." I add grace because I can't always rely on my wisdom.
I have to add that Gretchen's chapter on "Possessions" also inspired our shelf-by-shelf LEGO collecting and organizing. There were little shiny bricks everywhere! If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may remember when I shared how a LEGO fell out of my shirt when I was walking up the aisle for communion at church. Nice.
Congratulations to Gretchen for her daring and for giving us another inspiring book! To celebrate, I'm giving away three copies of Happier at Home. To put your name in the hat, leave a commment telling us about a threshold ritual that you'd like to implement in your life! I'll pick winners tomorrow at 8pm CST.
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Congrats to Sarah (posabug), Deanna, and David A.