Gratitude even if. Gratitude no matter what.

I have a blogging schedule. I have a marketing plan. Today’s regularly scheduled programming post was planned to be about engagement and marketing and choosing the right words (from the billion-plus we have in our language) that speak to the heart of the people I am here to serve and support.

Then Orlando happened. With a heavy heart I marched candle in hand on Sunday night with other grieving friends and community members. On that day, and since then, I’ve noticed my reaction to the normal sort of marketing emails and posts that have landed up in my inbox and feeds — they feel dissonant to me and haven’t held my attention as usual. The emails and posts that I read and responded to were the ones that were speaking to and about this tragedy.

Sometimes it’s good to step off the regular agenda and take time to stand in and speak to the moment. Today I know in my heart that it’s the right time for me to talk to you from my heart about gratitude even if, and gratitude no matter what.

Which I’m doing with you today.

I will resume talking about engagement, marketing, and business copy writing next time. Today let’s just get grateful together. Please.

Gratitude even if. Gratitude no matter what.

Gratitude even if. Gratitude no matter what.

I’ve had a gratitude practice for a long time. It’s a key part of my spiritual practice. I started writing fifteen items for which I was grateful every day in a journal almost fifteen years ago. Then I started sending my gratitude list in an email to my coach each morning. The circle expanded and I was sending that email to six or seven people every day.

When I started this blog, 800-ish posts ago, it began as a gratitude journal. I shared my daily gratitudes with the world. The blog has evolved in the nearly ten years of its life to be much more about living and being of service in a fully expressed way — integrating your passion, purpose, and prosperity into a seamless, sacred wholeness. But my gratitude practice has never stopped.

gratitude jarThe practice has circled around again to a private one. I write my gratitudes on a piece of paper (varieties of brightly colored origami paper these days) and crumple it up into a little ball and put it in my seemingly bottomless gratitude vase. Today I’m sharing my gratitude with you.

It’s easy to be grateful when things are easy, less challenging, less tragic. When you can tap into your gratitude no matter what is happening to and around you and your business, when you can tap into your gratitude through your tears and your grief, you’ll find a new ability to experience and act from a place of radical acceptance and love.

I am grateful today.

  • I am grateful that so many are safe.
  • I am grateful for the outpouring of love, solidarity, and support that fills my community and the world.
  • I  am grateful to know that grief and compassion are healing emotions.
  • I am grateful even for the anger and that feeling of being done, done, and done! with this violence because that anger spurs me to commitment and to action.
  • [and here come the hard ones] I am grateful that my daughter, who loves guns, and shooting them, does not have an assault weapon (that I know of).
  • I am grateful that my daughter and her partner are alive and safe.
  • I am grateful to know in my heart that my daughter’s path is her own, and that my work is to be a source of unconditional love for her every day.
  • I am grateful even if. I am grateful no matter what.

What prompts your gratitude today, even when grief is present?

What gratitude can you find in your heart? Let’s talk in the comments.

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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

    • Amethyst, welcome!

      I can’t say for sure how sane I am (at any given moment), but I can say how grateful I am that going through this process and honestly grieving has helped me keep my feet on the ground, and helped me feel connected to all beings — all.

      Love and light,

  1. Sue, I’m grateful to you and your blog, but especially this particular blog article today and right now. I’m grateful for a balcony on an apartment that’s in a relatively peaceful spot for a busy suburban area. I’m grateful for a moon that’s peeking out between fluffy clouds. And I’m grateful that someone taught me that bats are “a good thing” and that these chirping flying acrobats are cutting down the mosquito population. Thanks!

    • Connie, welcome here. I’m grateful we’ve connected. I love your reframe on bats. My hat’s off to you. I still shriek and eek when I see one. Go you!


      • Sue, trust me. If a bat got into my apartment, you’d be seeing (and hearing) a whole NEW reframe! Have an amazing weekend!

    • Reba, thanks, love. It just got really clear to me that those were the words that were ready to speak.

      Sigh. May all beings be safe. May all beings be safe. May all beings be safe.


  2. I’m grateful for this life, I’m grateful for diversity, I’m grateful for unconditional love, I’m grateful for the entire dance that all living beings dance on this planet, I’m grateful that everything has a purpose and there are no accidents, I’m grateful that I can see that.

  3. Thank you Sue. I know my focus this week have been to focus on love and peace and being so grateful that I live where I live and just have so much to be thankful for each day as I rise and then as I fall asleep.

    love and in gratitude Suzie xx

    • Suzie, every time I see one of the pictures of you and your beach(es) I totally get it. How wonderful to live in a place of beauty, and how even more wonderful to have your eyes open to appreciation.

      Blessed be.

  4. I am grateful for positive people, for those who believe in good and kindness, they give me hope, and strength. I am grateful for learning something new every day, for sunshine and little beings, for flowers and skies of rain, for all the good things in my life. And grateful for your post. 🙂

    • Mihaela, welcome, I’m so grateful we’ve connected. There’s a lot of words and gentle sovereignty in your comment; thank you so much for taking the time to write it.

      Love and light,

  5. Hi, Sue, my heart has been heavy since Orlando, but also for the too many spots of violence in the world. Part of the grief has been to hold dearly those many things and people in my life in love and in gratitude, also. I sent a message to a dear cousin and his husband in gratitude and love for their presence in my life. Releasing love into the world has helped. Sending love to you, your daughter and her partner. Elsie

    • Elsie, “releasing love into the world,” Yes, that’s it. And I gotta thank you for including Rose (my kid) and her partner in your prayerful words. Sometimes as a mom I feel like I’m carrying that burden of worry all alone. You remind me that I’m not. Ever.

      In gratitude,

  6. Beautiful to hear how your blog blossomed from a gratitude journal, Sue. And beautiful that you are bringing a reminder of “gratitude, no matter what” to the fore now — when it’s so needed.

    Today I am grateful for the way the light falls here, reflecting off an expansive lake and the mountains embracing our home. I am grateful too for all that brought me to this place and this chapter of life, including the especially tough parts that made now possible.

    So much to be thankful for — and awed by. Today, tomorrow, always.

    • Dana, I love your descriptions of your surroundings (as they change). I can really feel your heart’s deep appreciation for where you are and what you see and have. And now maybe you can give away the packing boxes and put your feet up for a while?

      Your resiliency really shows through. When I need to move home and office again, I’m going to pretend I’m you. 😉


  7. Thank you for expressing your heart with us, Sue. I have no words myself. I am sad that our world hasn’t moved past this to a place of peace and inclusion. I did receive a very powerful email from Gary Zukav – Seat of the Soul and it really touched me and resonated with me. I am sharing it here with you because I was SO grateful to receive it and have it change my perspective. My wish is its message reaches many people too. It is called “Orlando, Love, and Labels.” Thank you for this sharing this piece with us all. I am grateful to be the rose-colored glass optimist who sees a future filled with peace, love and inclusion for all! xo

    • Beverley, thank you, Gary’s piece was a powerful read. I’m glad you shared the link.

      Thanks for sharing your vision of the future, and for reminding me that what I envision matters. May all beings be safe. May all beings be well.

      Love and gratitude,

  8. Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts with us, Sue. Gratitude helps to find some sanity in insane events.

    I’ve been deleting marketing emails that have started with Orlando and then pushed marketing buttons which shouldn’t be pushed right now. There is a time to sell and a time to grieve. I wish others understood it too.

    • Vatsala, Maintaining a steady loving presence in the marketplace is so important, and crucial. I’m not saying that shouldn’t have happened. I’m just saying how I reacted to the normal flow of emails and posts. I recognize that many people scheduled their marketing emails in advance of the tragedy and try really hard not to judge. But the timing earlier in the week (Monday and Tuesday especially) made the idea of reading and responding to sales and special offers just wrong, clearly “not now!”

      I think I’m repeating myself. Sorry. It’s been quite a week.


  9. Beautiful authenticity and wisdom in this post, thank you Sue Kearney.

    I find your comment:

    When you can tap into your gratitude no matter what is happening to and around you and your business, when you can tap into your gratitude through your tears and your grief, you’ll find a new ability to experience and act from a place of radical acceptance and love.

    so powerful and resonate with it a lot. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    • Julia, yup, that gratitude lesson changed my life, in fact I think it saved my life. Glad it landed for you.

      Blessed be.

  10. Beautiful Sue. I know you read my article earlier and obviously, the events of last week touched me as well – on so many levels. There is definitely gratitude, but also some anger and frustration. But you are right to focus on what’s important so thanks for your inspirational reminder.

    • Marty, Another aspect I love is the tempering affect of gratitude. Gratitude doesn’t eliminate the anger and the frustration; instead it’s like openings are created — in, around, and through the sadness and the rage — openings to love. When I can get to love — even here, even for this — I can be so useful!

      Thanks for your wisdom and honesty.


  11. It may be hard for some people to understand how one could be in a state of gratitude during a time of tragedy, other than you or someone you know was not involved. My gratitude that in this tragedy, as in earlier ones of mass shootings, the human heart rises to the occasion and we come together as humanity to grieve and heal together.

  12. Sue, this is very touching. it’s so important to be able to rebalance after terrible events like those in Orlando, and your gratitude practice sounds very healing. I was with a friend last night who nearly died of a heart attack. She now has a pacemaker, and in her hand showed me a thick gratitude journal that has a page for every day. Offering her gratitude is softening her and helping her change her lifestyle.

    • Juliet, softening is a really good word. All these practices — gratitude, mindfulness, lovingkindness — they all soften and expand and create safe space for authentic opening, love, and transformation.

      Thanks for sharing it. Sending love to your friend.

      Blessed be.

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