I am always a bit suspicious of books about gratitude. The very concept sounds to me like a way of telling people to not feel their pain and ignore their troubles. This book is not like that. It tells us to lovingly embrace our emotions, to deal with our fears and sorrow. Yet it is also like a warm bath of healing. Somehow, I’m not sure how she manages it, Michele Wahlder manages to find that middle ground in Alphatudes: The Alphabet of Gratitude. She neither preaches, nor expects everything to change magically overnight. She inspires, without implying a magic wand that will make all troubles disappear. This book isn’t just inspiring, it’s beautiful too – an ideal spiritual gift. Especially in troubled times.
What is Gratitude Practice?
The practice of gratitude is meant for times of trouble and sorrow, to help us keep our strength. The idea is that to focus on what IS good, will help us deal with what isn’t. Gratitude as a spiritual practice is to constantly keep positive thoughts in mind. The idea is that what is focused on, grows in strength. There is certainly some truth to that. The most effective gratitude practice uses the strength of emotions, the strength of the heart. Gratitude as a thought will not do any good. Gratitude as an emotion is a strong force for good. The deeper it is felt, the more it will transform your life, your every relationship. From deep gratitude happiness grows.
The practice of gratitude is always a journey rather than a destination” p. 5
A simple exercise to get to sleep- Insomnia gratefulness exercise…
This book started with a spell of sleeplessness on the part of the author. For a few weeks she had trouble sleeping. One night, as she lay tossing and turning, she thought to herself that instead of counting sheep, she might as well count her blessings… literally. Starting with the letter A, for apples, B for beauty, C for coat she soon fell asleep. The idea for a book was born. She shared that exercise with her coaching clients, who all loved it, so the idea of a book was born. We can each do this exercise when we can’t sleep: just use the alphabet as a basis for reminding yourself of the blessings in your life.
The best line ever:
Many times, we may feel as though we have no choices; however, we always have the power to choose our attitude, our actions and our responses. (p. 18)
While the book started as a simple exercise to fall asleep, it is more than that. Built up like the exercise, it gives one value, one thing to be grateful for per letter of the alphabet – alphatudes the author calls them. Here they are: a. Acceptance b. Beauty c. Choices d. Dreams e. Emotions f. Forgiveness g. Giving h. Hope i. Imagination j. Joy k. Kindness l. Laughter m. Music n. Now o. Obstacles p. Passion q. Quiet r. Relationships s. Serendipity t. Touch u. Understanding v. Voice w. Work x. eX’s y. Yes z. Zzz…Sleep Each of these are headings for a chapter, starting with a quote, a reason to be grateful, an affirmation and closing with a prayer. For instance, the Chapter about Serendipity has the following prayer:
Align my life with your divine timing. Heighten my awareness of the serendipitous miracles that you have sprinkled along my path. Thank you for gracing my life with the magic of serendipity.
- Title: Alphatudes: The Alphabet of Gratitude
- Author: Michele Wahlder
- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Life Possibilities Publishing; Pap/Psc edition (January 15, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0982364504
- ISBN-13: 978-0982364505
- Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 7.4 x 9 inches