The Daily Practice That is Changing My Life

Every night, before going to bed, I’ve been making a list.  I use Regena Thomashauer’s BGD format, because I adore her.

It consists of 3 parts: 

Things I’m proud of and want to celebrate about myself or my day. (“Brags”)/ What I am grateful for. (“Gratitudes”)/ My deepest wants. (“Desires”)


An example from last week:

“I BRAG I built a vegetable garden today. I tilled the soil and pulled out all the roots and old plants. I scraped it down and filled it with compost. Aren’t I a hippy girl! Sofie made fun of me the whole time. I made a grid of 6 and planted cherry tomatoes, kale, spinach, rainbow chard, arugula, and mesclun lettuce. I did it with my hands and sprinkled water on the itsy bitsy teeny tiny seeds under the earth. It felt lovely and cool. I brag I got myself dirty, got outside and nurtured that part of me that needed to get OUT!”

(Sometimes you’ll have to settle for something simple.)

“I brag that today I am here, making this list.”

(Sometimes it’ll be something that you didn’t know you thought was celebration-worthy!)

“I brag that today, I got into a conflict with my boss today because I stood up for myself, even when he wouldn’t budge!”

This isn’t new. I’ve learned it from my teachers: Laura Fenamore, Louise Hay, Regena Thomashauer, Marie Forleo.

But it even dates back to ancient texts:

“In everything give thanks for this is God’s will for you…”  (Thessalonians) 

“…Any who is grateful does so to the profit of his own soul…” (Surah Al-Luqman) 

“Whatever I am offered in devotion with a pure heart — a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water — I accept with joy.” (Bhagavad Gita) 

I know you’ve heard this a million times, and the thought of a gratitude list is like, enough to make you puke. IT sure makes me want to roll my eyes. But let’s call it something different. Like, mining for diamonds! 


Miner drilling and laborer loading “black diamonds” in the rough, Anthracite Mining, Scranton, Pa., U.S.A.

You don’t have to perform for anyone. It’s for you.

It’s just something you can do when, after a long day that might have been shitty and filled with begrudging thoughts, you can choose to remember the bits that were beautiful. Even if they were a second long.

“I am grateful for the candied violets in my tea.”

“I am grateful the way he looked at me when I blushed.”

“I am grateful for the way my little cousins ran into the rain with glee, while I cowered inside. It reminded to live a little. I am grateful for their vitality.”

And if you had an excellent day, even better. Because now you are choosing to receive. To let it in with open arms, a smile and some appreciation. To digest how good it all is. Because you deserve it.

Because life is made of those moments.

Now your turn, starlight. Share with me your brags, gratitudes, and desires! Or one ;)  My list is below. I swear, after doing it, my day went from mediocre-feeling to magnificent.

You know when sometimes you look at old photos of yourself and think “Wow, I looked HOT. I wish I would have realized it then!”? This is that. This is you realizing how fantastic your life really is. One brag at a time ;)

:* Alia

My Brags, Gratitudes, & Desires. 2.27.14

I brag that today, I spoke a little Portuguese.

I brag that I’m drinking root beer kombucha at a cafe I’ve never been to.

I brag I did something goofy today, because I wanted to. I brag I like to laugh at myself.

I brag I planned a surprise for my sister at a new frozen yogurt spot.

I am grateful to be warm and cozy on a wet and rainy day.

I am grateful to be young, optimistic, and full of ideas.

I am grateful that I am here, writing this post.

I am grateful for my phone’s GPS. Thank you.

I am grateful for S. who always calls.

I am grateful J. is coming.

I am grateful for all the people who express their souls with the world in the form of art and music. I am especially grateful for this song that touched me.

I desire glorious, laughter-filled time with girlfriends.

I desire to cuddle my cousins and savor the days of their childhood.

I desire to move to NYC when the time’s right :)

I desire to find ways to really GIVE.