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A Grateful La-La-La

November, 2018

Hummingbird Visits Bring Joy. Photo by Bill Scala

An Antidote to Overwhelming Bad News

Don’t you want to just put your fingers in your ears and sing la-la-la sometimes? Wouldn’t it be sweet to block out the disturbing things you hear or see?

All la-la-la attempts are temporary but they do provide some relief.

Try this grateful la-la-la strategy. I can’t guarantee it will bring cheer or augment feelings of gratitude but I do think it’s worth a shot.

Here’s what you do:

1) Think of one good thing about your life right now. Important: it needn’t be something huge. It could be a favorite yoga instructor, something you see in nature when you look out your window, or an oldie-but-goodie song that you listened to recently.

2) Ask yourself, how did this good thing come about? Who played a part? What decisions did you make to bring this good or joyful element to your life?

To illustrate, I’ll say one of the good things about my life right now is that I regularly see hummingbirds outside my window both at my office and at home.

How did this good thing come about? Where there are hummingbird feeders, there will be hummingbirds! We have four feeders around our house, and I’ve got another one hanging on the deck outside my office.

Who played a part? Now this is where the la-la-la gets a lot louder and can branch off in different directions.

I could say an ex- played a part. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be living in California now. I could follow this trail more by looking back further. How did I meet my ex-? My first job right out of college, in Washington, DC. How did I get that job? Through one of my dearest friends. How did I meet that friend? In college. What made me decide to go to that college? Etc.

But I could also say my deceased brother played a part. It’s too long a story for this blog but let’s just say I had some close encounters with hummingbirds shortly after my brother’s death. These magical meetings influenced my interest in having feeders around the house. And my husband put up all the feeders for me.

Do you see how the gratitude multiplies?

I started with an appreciation of the hummingbirds outside my window . . .

By playing the gratitude la-la-la game with it, I followed a trail backward and found myself giving thanks to an ex-, my alma mater, my dear friend, my joyful brother, living in California, my husband, and the first job I had as a college graduate!

By singing this gratitude la-la-la, I got a mini-break from troubling news headlines, or concerns about racism, xenophobia, and the environment. I also made one item multiply into seven things on my gratitude list in just a few minutes.

I invite you to give this strategy a try. I’d love to hear your la-la-la’s!

Comments on this blog post are welcome — see the bottom of this page.


Prompts For Joy

Click here for a visual feast of gratitude with an inspiring message.

(Thank you so much, Jan Herzog!)

Click here in case you missed this video when it was a Prompt for Joy back in 2011. You’ll get a close-up glimpse into a hummingbird nest.

(Thanks again, Bill Scala, for helping me make this video.)

Click here for all previous Prompts for Joy.


Pictured Above

Backyard joy. Photograph by Bill Scala.

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