Recently my daughter Blake called to tell me that Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine requirements for visitors would be maintained until September 1st and I began to cry.

Every three months for the past seven years I have flown to Hawaii for a few weeks to see my grandson. I’ve never missed his birthday, which is coming up in August. Since the pandemic started I haven’t been able to go.

So I was very excited when I got the news that officials in Hawaii were finally going to allow people to visit without taking a quarantine period because that meant I could finally go again. But when I heard the state was going to maintain the quarantine requirements until September 1st, I thought my heart was going to break.

When I spoke with my daughter Blake she said “Mom, I know how hard it is. I get it. But think about how lucky you are that you’re working.”

She told me how hard life was for so many people on the North Shore. Since Hawaii is a tourist state and there’ve been no tourists since March, many people are out of work who were already living hand to mouth. I tried to be grateful but this time it was hard. I just missed Loki so much.

So I tried a variation on gratitude practice. Instead of just listing what I was grateful for, I described specific details.

Here’s what I wrote:

I’m grateful for Rodney and to have someone I trust to help me disseminate our work into the world. Who comes up with amazing ideas and ways to implement them to get our work into the world. I’m grateful that he teaches me that learning can be tough and to stick with it. I’m grateful that he never makes me wrong or judges me and he is a kind and loving teacher.

I am grateful that I live in a beautiful place where I have access to breathtaking hikes during COVID. I can look out my window and see nature at it’s finest.

I am grateful that my business is thriving during COVID and that I can pay my staff and that my clients can still get the help they need to be able to have the lives that they dream of.

I am grateful for my health and fitness level that I have and for access to videos for basically every kind of exercise that I do and I’ve been able to keep up my exercise routine during COVID even though I hate exercising at home.

I am grateful for Letha, my best friend of 55 years, who gives selflessly to me and my company. She is always there for me in every and any way I need her to be. I am grateful for her wise counsel and her listening and how she always brings laughter to the table.

After I wrote this, I felt waves of gratitude wash over me. I know that I’m truly blessed to have so many things going well in my life. I even felt grateful for facetime.

So when you struggle with gratitude practice, try describing what you’re grateful for in more detail

If you’re grateful for a particular friendship, you might list things that person has done for you. You can mention the ways they’ve helped you in your life. You might describe how they added fun or insight for example. If you’re grateful for your health, you can list aspects of your health you’re grateful for.

Maybe you’re happy that you can still climb a flight of stairs at your age. Or maybe you’re appreciative of the fact that you have good vision (even if aided by glasses). Of course, the glasses are another thing to be grateful for. You can be grateful for the fact you have access to all the world’s information at your fingertips and mention specific articles or videos you’ve found valuable lately.

And as you get more details about what you’re grateful for, you start to become more sensitive to moments of gratitude in the present

You may find yourself expressing thanks with greater energy than before. You may find yourself appreciating something as simple as a cup of tea or a mug of coffee.

There’s almost always many things going well in our lives. Yet they blend into the background so we don’t notice them. By being grateful for small details, you can reawaken a sense of wonder in your life. And you can come to appreciate the convenience of the many small things which are going well.

My New Book

For the past few years, I’ve been working on a book with my friend Vahan Yapremian on how entrepreneurs can overcome limiting beliefs that hold them back. It’s titled Self Made: The Surprising Solution to Success. It should be out in several months. If you’re interested, you can let us know by adding your email address to the form at this link:

We’ll then give you updates as we make progress on the book and let you know when you can read it.