August 8 th


Gratitude + Generosity. How and when do you express it?


As I begin my fifth week of blogging, the words that are top of mind for me are: gratitude and generosity.

First, I want to thank everyone who has been reading, commenting, liking, tweeting, and sharing my posts. I am so grateful for your interest and engagement. I have spoken to a number of people who are reading it and giving me positive feedback. And I am so glad for that because otherwise I only know you’re reading if you leave a comment.

And speaking of comments, maybe it’s because I am a newbie blogger, but I am just giddy every time my blog receives a new comment! I think about each one and reply back with care. I am going to date myself here, but it reminds me of the old days of letter-writing (does anyone do this anymore?). I can still vividly remember the anticipation of awaiting letters from friends who moved away, summer camp friends, or boys I liked . . . and the thrill of going to the mailbox and reading those handwritten letters.

There is something about blog comments that mirrors the handwritten letter. Someone took the time to let me know how my writing and ideas impacted them. What was sparked. What they plan to do next. What questions emerged.

I have been thinking lately about my own commenting and sharing philosophy. I am active on social media and these days I am all about expressing my gratitude. If someone says or does something that moves me in some way, I try to let them know. I reply to their newsletter, comment on their blog, “like” or share their post, tweet a thank- you, send an email, or simply thank them for the quality of being they bring to the world. Life is short and I have not done this nearly enough. How do you handle this?

I have also been paying attention to ways I can be generous offline and the ways other people express their generosity and gratitude.

* * *

Last week I spent 90 minutes on a call with a lawyer who is writing a book for and about lawyers and the Enneagram. He invited me to be interviewed months ago and we finally got to do it last week. I have no idea what will come of it. It was fun to meet someone new, help out and have a fascinating conversation in the process. I even received some interesting feedback which I will share in another post.

 * * *

This weekend I helped a friend who is separating from her husband move out of her marital home and into her new home. Let me just say that at 4’11” and weighing in at less than 100 pounds, I am not a physical powerhouse. I was not able to do much heavy lifting. And I felt badly about that. I kept wishing I was stronger, that I could offer more value. But I was there for moral support. I picked up food and drinks for everyone, I held doors, I watched the truck and the items in the staging area, and I put clothing away. While my focus was on how little I was able to do, she kept thanking me for every bit I could offer. And she had so many people helping her out of the sheer goodness of their hearts. It was a lovely example of generosity and gratitude at its finest.

* * *

I was on the phone recently with a colleague from Minneapolis. The topic turned to an Enneagram intensive that will be happening in St. Paul in November. To my surprise, my colleague offered to put me up and arrange for transportation to the training site if I decided to attend. What generosity! I had been on the fence and this offer pushed me over the edge. I registered last week and am looking so forward to this trip. More on this in a future post. (I am fast realizing I might never run out of blog content!)

* * *

There are so many ways that generosity and gratitude show up every day. We have opportunities to practice and thank others every moment. I am paying extra special attention to this lately because I see correlations between generosity and gratitude and my overall energy and ability to create.

So, tell me . . . how do you express your gratitude? How does your generosity show up? Do you have story to share about how someone’s generosity or gratitude affected you?

Take action now. Click “like” if you like this post, share it, and leave your stories below.



  1. Laura Gates says:

    Thanks Laurie for this. I too am loving the generosity on my blog, and you are reminding me that I did not circle back on my comments last week like I wanted. I think of those little notes passed between lockers in high school!

    Here is my generosity experience lately: raising funds to give the gift for a “goddess” photo shoot for a friend and her daughter, who has CP
    Receiving the gift of a “companion” airline ticket to enable me to travel to Australia next week!
    A free car wash (OK I had done ten to get it, but it felt free!)
    A friend who is training to teach a core abs class giving me a free class…
    I could go on and on, I am so very grateful for so much generosity in my life!

    • Laura, your reference to notes passed between lockers made me smile. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your examples. Just taking a few moments to bring our experiences of generosity — of giving and receiving — into our awareness is a gift in itself.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Oh Laurie! Such an exquisite post this week. I can feel my heart tenderized by it! Letters hold a special place for me. Over the last years of my mother’s life when I went to visit we would dig into the family history materials she had squirreled away over the almost century she had lived. I came upon a box which contained letters from the late 1800s and early to mid 1900s. It was a treasure trove of living moments of the people I was related to yet never met. Stories I had heard but never from the person themselves. It was wild to open a letter and experience THE moment the event had happened through their words and emotions. Some were very profound moments. My grandmother’s first night in the boarding house she was staying in for college. 1898 . My Grandfather’s letter to my mother the night she lost her first baby. I can’t even begin to describe what it was like to read these. They were a time machine for a moment that was still alive in those letters. Amazing.

    I love to connect with others, witness to their work and to their genius… and offer what I see. It feeds something deep in me. I have done it with the thousands of children I have taught and now it is something I love to do on people’s blogs.

    My generosity shows up for people in times of need. I have many young people I am connected to through my sons. The young women are attracted to me and my creative work. Many of them are motherless, one way or another, and thus they are seeking someone who can seeeeeee them. I have one coming over to night who is going through some serious stuff.

    So! thank YOU for this precious post. It has allowed my heart to wax on here! haha! on more than ONE of my favorite topics. I am sooooo happy to hear you are going to be able to make it to this conference. Look forward to hearing all the new stuffff you learn! xo

    • Kathleen, I love the stories in your mother’s family history box. I can imagine how deeply moving it must have been to hold those original letters in your hands and imagine the experiences they wrote about.

      As for your generosity, I think it’s your middle name. It shows up everywhere … in the work you do, in your heartfelt engagement on our mutual Facebook groups and in the blogs you comment on. Your genuine and generous spirit shines through everything you do. Thank you for being you and for gifting me and my blog with your attention and love. 🙂

      • Kathleen says:

        Wow! Thank YOU, Laurie! How friggin SWEET! and you, my dear are right with me, supporting the team… and pouring gobs of honey all over me! hahaha! wow! I am SURE to have a sweet dream tonight!

        Wasn’t there a Laurel & Hardy skit similar to this… well, thank you! well, thank YOU… no really, THANK YOU… haha! yes thank you, Laurie!!

        • Kathleen says:

          I would like to add, Laurie… what a GREAT way to generate the spirits of generosity and gratitude through this post. I like the fact you made us speak to our generosity… which is not always easy for people to do. BeautiFULL work! YAY!

          • Kathleen, you make me smile! Love the imagery and your big heart. Ha, love the Laurel & Hardy reference too … I can totally picture that skit!

            You’re right that it’s not always easy for us to speak to our generosity and gratitude. I am glad people took me up on the invitation and shared stories and examples like yours. I think it helps to name what we do and really let it settle into our being. Not from a place of ego but as a way to spread the light. 🙂

  3. What a great post! I find myself doing this a lot with new moms who contact me simply because I love knowing that I made a difference–even if there isn’t $ attached to our time together. I’m sure an extreme business oriented person might chastise me for not charging all the time when I should (just spent 60 min tonight doing an interview for a potential postpartum doula job even though I only offer a free 30 minute consult simply because I could tell the couple was very nervous and needed a little extra boost in their parenting esteem). I really do feel like it all pays off in the end 😉

    • Nicole, I really relate to what you describe when you talk about sharing your time with clients and prospective clients because it is not first and foremost about the money, but that you love making a difference. My challenge is that I often give too much of my time and energy away. Do you ever find that? I think I am still playing with the balance … I love giving and I know that I need to have an overall balance of giving and receiving to maintain my own energy and life force … and continue doing the work I do. Curious how you work with finding this balance?

  4. This is such a great post. I love receiving letters. There is just something great about sharing that communication. I try to extend a smiling face, open doors and say hi to others when out in the community. I find that little things like this can make people feel really good, especially if they are having an off day.

    • Sasha, I know what you mean about those letters. Do they still exist? What (if anything) do you think has replaced letter-writing in this day and age? I agree that there is something about shared communication that is so compelling. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing examples of some ways you share your generosity. 🙂

  5. Anja says:

    Hi Laurie,
    I so agree with you – receiving and giving are the same energy. Gratitude is the most powerful tool for manifestatoin as it such positive energy – if you keep sending it out, you will receive lots of good stuff in return. Gratitude is giving – whether it manifests as appreciation or attention or in other ways.

    It’s my first time on your site – it seems you are an expert on the Enneagram. I will be taking my first seminar on the Enneagram end of September. I have zero previous knowledge so if you have any resources that you recommend, that I can check out before I go on the course, I’d really appreciate it!

    PS – Oh and I can so resonate with what you say about ‘writing letters’ – I recently hand wrote a letter and had to start over a milion times. How did we manage without backspace keys etc. before??? 🙂

    • Anja, I so completely agree with you about the power of gratitude. And giving and receiving are interconnected energies. I find that the more I give the more I receive (without even trying).

      I laughed reading your p.s. about writing letters. I think cross-outs and “white-out” were the precursor to our much beloved “backspace key”! 😀

      Fantastic to hear you will be taking your first Enneagram seminar soon! I have a list of recommended resources here:

      And I mention some ways to get started with typing on my facebook page (scroll down just a bit to Gayle’s question):

      I love the Enneagram and although I have done a lot of personal development, the Enneagram transformed my life. I will be weaving it into my blogging soon. Glad to talk with you further as well. Thanks so much for visiting my blog.

  6. Laurie,
    I recently had someone include my recipe collection as a resource for a group which includes hundreds of people. When I became aware of this I sent her an email to thank her and told her I was honored. I believe it is very important to show gratitude to someone who is helping you in some way, even with a quick email.

    • Heather, it must have felt so good to have someone call out your work to hundreds of people (without, it sounds like, your request to do so?). Isn’t it amazing how good it feels when someone helps us out without having been asked? I imagine she appreciated your note and acknowledgement as well. I know that sometimes these stories can sound small in a world that is hyper-focused on “go-go-go” and on results, but I think these small acts can have a profound difference on how we experience our day and the quality of someone else’s day. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing. And congratulations! It sounds like you have created a valued recipe collection!

  7. Sue Ann says:

    I love the topic of appreciation and gratitude. One New Year’s Day I started a gratitude photo essay on facebook inspired by another facebook friend. I had started gratitude journals before but they usually fell by the wayside as I moved on to “more important” tasks. Now, I have a built-in accountability partner (my page) and I’m motivated to stay with it because I love photography and it satisfies my creative urges.

    When I miss a day (or two) because I’m away, I feel an energetic shift in my universe—almost like a calling—reminding me to stop and look around me for all that I have to be grateful for.

    Thank you for a beautiful post.

    • Sue Ann, I love that you started a gratitude photo essay on your Facebook page! That’s lovely and a brilliant idea. I know what you mean about an energetic shift … I think gratitude contributes to our aliveness. Air breathes life into our bodies; gratitude breathes life into our souls.

      Generosity is a word that easily springs to mind when I think about you. You are always so generous in sharing your experiences, input, and ideas in our shared Facebook groups. Thanks so much for sprinkling some of your generosity on my blog. 🙂

  8. sheila says:

    You are speaking my language, baby! I love this post and resonate with the need to express gratitude at every turn. I love the notion of a blog mirroring a handwritten letter as it really does come from the heart and I also love the realization that whatever contribution you do make is the exact contribution needed, there are others who can handle the heavy lifting who cannot provide the heart-centered presence that you provide. Keep on showing your love, babe!

    • Sheila, I’m glad this resonates and I am not surprised I am speaking your language! Thanks for the reminder that we make the exact contribution that is needed. That is so true. And thanks for your heart-centered response and sharing some comment love!

  9. Tanya says:

    I am also loving the generosity of all of us commenting on one another’s blogs! so much fun! 🙂

    This is such a great time for me to express my gratitude in 10 ways:

    1) for my friends, family and community. I get how much I am loved.

    2) for Chants, the amazing dog who wiggles around me and gives me so much attention this week.

    3) for my mom taking me to the Jill Scott concert tomorrow 🙂

    4) for my yoga practice.

    5) for today’s massage with Julie.

    6) for amazing connections with powerhouse women the past two weeks.

    7) for the Vitamix.

    8) for Tribal Truth’s amazing women.

    9) for Alara’s organizational skills.

    10) for my open heart. 🙂

    • Tanya, I love learning about 10 specific things you are grateful for in this moment! What a juicy list. I, too, am grateful for the blogging generosity, Alara’s idea and organizational skills, and the opportunity to read, reflect on, and engage with so many fascinating women (and gents) in the process. I love hearing about what each blogger has affection for and and learning a bit more about one another in the process. Thanks for visiting and sharing. 🙂

  10. Suki says:

    I love the generosity of all of us commenting on one another’s blogs too, thanks to everyone and Alara. I just started offering a free styling advice on my blog. It takes hours for me to do that but it makes me feel really good that I can use what I’m good at to help someone out. For me the good thing about giving is just if I can see even a smile on their face, it’s so rewarding. And I always make sure that I express some kind of gratitude to someone who is helping me.

    • Suki, thanks for sharing your generosity and your story about how you give through complimentary styling sessions. Seeing a smile on someone’s face … it’s worth a thousand words, don’t you think? Something I have taken to doing is making eye contact with strangers walking down the street and just smiling at them. They usually seem somewhat off guard and smile back. 🙂

  11. Laurie – I never thought about blog comments being a modern version of handwritten letters. I absolutely love this! Thank you for sharing your personal stories too! It’s so easy to sometimes take the little things for granted, so this was a wonderful reminder.

  12. Isn’t it wonderful to give. When I first started blogging and even today I too get giddy at the site that I have a new comment. Every time I see that pop up I am grateful for those that take time to comment. I love how you relate it to a letter and getting that reply back. It does feel that way especially when people leave quality comments.

    You are an amazing giver, writer and so much more. Thanks for sharing your words with the world.


    • Thanks Alara! You are too kind. I think givers attract givers and light attracts light. 😉 Thanks for your amazing creativity! Hope I can one day follow your lead and incorporate some inspiring videos too.

  13. What a lovely & timely post. I’m away from home (but in my hometown) and I’ve been feeling a bit off-centre. But reflecting for a few moments about what I’m grateful is a gift. So many people have popped up in the past few days to help me promote an event & I wanted to spend time saying “thank you”. But as I’m sitting here I realize I did, right in the moment. And I know they heard me.

    I’m also receiving reciprocal gratitude at the moment, while spending 30 minutes in the sunshine in my old backyard, with my two 15 year old cats… They love the extra snuggle time – and I really needed to see them again.

    • Thanks for sharing Loralee, especially given that you’re on the road with a jam-packed schedule. That means a lot. And I appreciate how much you give and give and give to our virtual online community. Thanks for being you and for easily and generously sharing your entrepreneurial and technical experience and wisdom, as well as your unique form of art and beauty with the world.

  14. This is a beautiful post Laurie! I feel the same as you. I respond to every comment, every email and try to get back with everyone I can by social media. It means the world to me when someone shares their thoughts with me and I want to show them how much I appreciate that by giving them that same time and consideration.

    Bernardo of has been such an inspiration for me in this area. He is so generous with his support and always leaves a note of appreciation when you comment or share his posts. He reciprocates that support and sends lovely emails when he can. I aspire to bring more of this into my daily life and to find new and loving ways to show gratitude to the people in my life.

    Thank you for this wonderful post! xoxo

    • Thanks Stephenie! I think we are kindred spirits. 😉 I am not surprised that you also respond to every post. It seems to fit with what I know of you and your brand.

      Thanks for sharing Bernardo’s example as well. I am always moved when someone takes the time to reply, and am especially amazed when those who have large followings make the time to do it. I shared a post from Sean D’Souza from Psychotactics on my Facebook page yesterday and he thanked me personally for it today. Like you discussed in your blog today, I try to surround myself with people who inspire me and share some similar values. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. xoxo

  15. Tina Pruitt says:

    I love this post and truly feel gratitude and generosity, when given, are received two-fold in return. Thanks for reminding us that it is in the simple things that we can find these gifts! I love getting comments too!!! And I still love getting letters and cards (especially postcards!).

    Thanks again luv, xo,

    • Tina, you’re such a sweetie yourself. Thanks so much for coming by. I still love getting letters too. I just can’t remember the last time I got one?! It seems my world of people is all online these days. 🙂 That’s okay with me though … I think what matters more than the form is the intention and willingness to connect in some meaningful way. xoxo

  16. Pat Novak says:

    I can so feel and relate how comments and sharing can feel like hand-written letters Laurie.
    These words helped me to understand the energy of Gratitude:

    “Gratitude is a tangible force. The more you feel it, the more reasons you will find to feel it. Gratitude is a miraculous force, like a magical magnet, generating and the attracting so much more than you have already received. It is like a living energy, clearing the way for you to become so much more than you have already experienced.” ~ Lazaris

    • Pat, thanks for this beautiful quote. Gratitude does feel like a tangible, living force. And I really relate to this: “The more you feel it, the more reasons you will find to feel it . . . . like a magical magnet, generating and the attracting so much more than you have already received.” I have goosebumps just reading this. Thank you. 🙂

  17. Kat Fulton says:

    GREAT post, Laurie!!

    Gratitude. Where to even begin??? How about B-School for bringing us all together in this fabulous supportive group of women.

    Whenever I’m feeling worn down, tired, sick, or just plain burnt out… I think about all of the amazing gifts (material and non-material) that have come my way in this world. Then I feel like a million bucks again.

    Gratitude is The Healer!

    • Yes Kat, I so completely agree! Gratitude is an amazing healer! And I, too, am so grateful for Marie, Laura and the women (and gents) of RHH B-School. I am pushing myself to take action in whole new ways and it feels so amazing. Sometimes the word “gratitude” does not even feel big enough to describe all that I feel. 🙂

  18. Nice post Laurie!! whenever I see the word ‘enneagram’ my eyes seem to slow right down + take in every single word thereafter. Great to hear there’s sooo much gratitude + generosity abound!

    This topic has been on my mind in the past few weeks. I’ve been observing my desires ‘behind’ giving + really noticing if I give with the expectation to receive, or if I truly give without the expectations and/or attachments. Lately, my gratitude has been showing up by being truly open + present with another human being be it my parents, my partner, my children, my clients, the person on the other end of the phone or the checkout person at the supermarket. It’s these simply things that FILL ME UP beyond my own comprehension.

    • Thanks Susana. I will soon be writing more about the Enneagram and I will look forward to your contributions on that front as well!

      I love the way you describe the way your gratitude shows up lately … as being truly open and present and in the now when you are with others. I am sure they appreciate it whether or not they can articulate what they are experiencing with you. Thanks for the reminder that we can be generous and grateful in profoundly simple (but not always easy) ways. 🙂

  19. […] kind enough to share her take in the Speaking of Gratitude hop. If you didn’t see it there, go there now, it is so worth your […]

  20. Sue Ann says:

    So glad I saw this on your facebook page! Isn’t social media grand? I started my “gratitude journal” on facebook: 365 Days of Gratitude. There was such a beautiful shift in my life when I began to display my gratitude in photos. I started looking at the world around me a little closer and realized how many things I had to be grateful for. My facebook page keeps me accountable for waking up each day and posting a little reminder that I am surrounded by good fortune. I just have to open my eyes and look.

    I love your post and all the sentiments shared here. Thank you for introducing me to Bliss Habits as well!

    • Sue Ann, you exemplify generosity and gratitude at its finest! I love the idea of your “365 Days of Gratitude” journal on Facebook! What a fantastic way to keep a gratitude journal, do it through imagery, and share it with the world. We are surrounded by lovely miracles every day. You’re right that we just need to look. 😉

      I’m glad you are enjoying Bliss Habits too! Kathy Sprinkle is doing some fabulous work over there: