Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Gratitude Diaries

by Janice Kaplan

Loved this book.  I've read several self-help books over the years and this is one of my favorite.  Kaplan's writing is engaging, as is her research and practical application.  Several summers ago I kept a gratitude journal and felt my life was extremely blessed.  I suppose the busy-ness of teaching lured me from that practice but now that I am retired I am grateful for the reminder this book provided.  I dug out my languishing journal and reread the entries which took me back to that lovely time in my life.

Kaplan shares her experiences of implementing gratitude into her life.  Along the way she shares insights from professionals and lay persons who specialize in how gratitude affects the mind, body, and soul.  She begins each chapter with a quote - one of my favorite things in a book.  I marked this book well and will enjoy reading these passages over from time to time.  This passage from Kaplan expresses were most of us are with the concept of gratitude:  "It's as if there were a magical happiness rock sitting in the middle of a field and half of us didn't even bother to go over and pick it up.  I was one of the people running around that field and never getting near the magic stone.  I knew it was there.  I kept thinking about it.  But something always got in the the way."

Another qualifier of a good book, for me, is if it teaches me something.  The Gratitude Diaries introduced me to Candace Pert, who as a young graduate student discovered the first opiate receptor.  I spent that day googling Ms Pert and learning more about her.  And, of course, that trail forked here and there on the internet and led me to the study of epigenitics, which I've been interested in for the last couple of years.  When links connect in my mind it makes me very happy.  Gratitude can actually change the expression of our DNA by sending out peptides that signal the making of certain proteins.  I would prefer that the proteins my DNA makes are those that promote happiness and good health.  If expressing gratitude and feeling gratitude does than I want to encourage those practices in my life.

I highly recommend this book.

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Penquin Group and NetGalley.  This review reflects my honest opinions. No compensation was received.**

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