It is gratitude month – the month where I consider the kind promise “I will appreciate blessings.” I have been reading about practicing gratitude here and here (among others). One of the things I like about practicing the promises is the way that I get to give each one an annual spin.

It’s fun to read what other people think about gratitude and get ideas for gratitude practices, but there’s no need to be ambitious about it. Simply by turning my attention to gratitude, I find grace. I become conscious that I am floating on a river of blessings.

“Whenever we are appreciative, we are filled with a sense of well-being and swept up by the feeling of joy.” – MJ Ryan

I have been falling in love with the word “well-being.” It echoes Julian of Norwich’s “all shall be well” message. Julian believed in a loving God who was in charge. She, therefore, didn’t need to worry about things. She could lean back into the arms of the divine.

While I don’t believe in Julian’s God, I reach for the “all shall be well” attitude in daily life. It’s somehow deeper than Don’t Worry Be Happy (though that’s fun). Wellness goes beyond black-and-white sickness and health dualities. This is helpful in the midst of incurable, progressive illness. It allows me to answer “I am well” to the troublesome question “how are you?”

Well-being is a sense that, no matter what, it will be okay. Not necessarily comfortable or without difficulty, but that I will somehow muddle through. If I value the muddle and make room for suffering, then I drop into well-being. Knowing that it will be okay is a path to joy.

This month, I practice gratitude and find joy.