Google PlusFacebookTwitter


By Carisa Carlton

 30-Days of Gratitude

began on September 5, 2017

One of my hobbies is taking classes. Instead of playing games, I enroll in all sorts of online courses. I especially like Coursera when I am between sessions at University of California, Irvine because of their logically organize lesson plans, and they offer a wide variety of topics. Last week I signed up for “A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment.”  One of the assignments is to write a letter of gratitude to someone, then call that person and read the letter to them. So, I did it, and it made me feel really good, so I thought, “Why stop there?” I decided to challenge myself to 30-days of gratitude writing.

30 consecutive days proved to be too taxing, so I modified my goal to write 30 letters in total. The practice of gratitude changed my mental habits and I became happier. What’s more, the happiness lasted.

One thing to note is that I do not invest more than 30 minutes or so writing these letters. They are first drafts. Of course, I could perfect them with multiple revisions, but perfection in my gratitude is not my objective. Notice, too, the lack of SEO strategy.

Here are my gratitude letters — a work still in progress.  I hope you share your thoughts by calling me at 323-999-1376 or writing to me at mscarisa at

Day 1: September 5, 2017:  Toni

Day 2: September 6, 2017: Stefan

Day 3: September 7, 2017: Carol

Day 4: September 8, 2017: Dr. C

Day 5: September 9, 2017: Gavin

Day 6: September 10, 2017: Marie

The 30-Days of Gratitude letter writing is not an easy journey. You have to be devoted to filtering out negative thoughts. Publishing first drafts as the final draft is a process of focusing on communicating clearly and taking a step toward that goal everyday. The results in happiness are felt immediately on day one. After day five, everything seemed brighter to me. I was able to see the beauty in every person and I was able to see bad behaviors as simple unhappiness. I became clearer about what I value in others. And I realized my value to others.

Day 7: September 11, 2017: Violet

After a sleepless night and a full day in court, I can still express my gratitude on schedule. The order in which I wrote these letters are not a reflection of hierarchy. I just write with the flow.

Day 8: September 12, 2017: Mom

My 30-Days of gratitude is delayed by a few days. This has been an intense journey. I prevailed in court today.  But I know there’s more adversity to come my way. I gain power to achieve a higher awareness from reading and re-reading my own letters. It has established within me the core power to rely on others and trust that my friends and family are there for me. This gratitude journey gives me smiles and hope. I’ll start writing letters again. Let’s see how long this takes me to offload a major assault to the womb.

Day 9: September 19, 2017: Adi

Another secret to peaceful living is to sit someplace pleasing to your soul and memorize every aspect of that moment from the feel of your skin, the colors around you, and the smell of something that sets your soul free. Think about the gravity you feel with the earth under you.  Let your eyes absorb the light. Then just sit there and memorize that moment of joy and peace around you. Whenever something goes crazy in your life, remember that moment. When I sat in the boorish courthouse hallways, I was able to imagine myself back to the Ritz Carlton seaside heaven.

Day 10: September 20, 2017: Eric

Day 11: September 21, 2017: Kathryn

Day 12: September 22, 2017: David

Day 13: September 23, 2017: Brett

Day 14: September 24, 2017: Deborah

Day 15: September 25, 2017: Tessie

As I write letters of gratitude everyday, I realize I have more to be grateful for than I usually realize. And, the gratitude seriously mitigates all negativity and gives me confidence that everything is OK.

Day 16: September 27, 2017: Joel

I was hoping to write a letter everyday, but it turns out that sometimes I need a day or two to refresh my mind. So my 30-Days of Gratitude are not consecutive days, which means my gratitude state of bliss lasts even longer.

Day 17: September 29, 2017: Ned

Day 18: October 2, 2017: Johnie

Seeing others through a lens of gratitude has become habit.

Day 19: October 3, 2017: Lois

Day 20: October 6, 2017: Julia

Day 21: October 11, 2017: Peter

Day 22: October 14, 2017: Patrick

My first gratitude letter was based on…

An Experiment in Gratitude | The Science of Happiness