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Episode 61 – How To Cultivate Happiness By Writing Letters Of Gratitude – With Nancy Davis Kho

How To Cultivate Happiness In Midlife By Writing Letters Of Gratitude - With Nancy Davis Kho

How do you send thank you letters in order to cultivate happiness?

Hey there Beautiful,

Let me ask you a question?

When you were growing up, was it drilled into your head that you had to write thank you notes?

I know I sure did.

My mom would nag me and nag me, “Did you write your thank you note to grandma and grandpa for the money they sent you for your birthday?” she would say.

The more she reminded me the more I resisted and you know “forgot” to write the notes.

And then when I had kids, I became my mom! The thing we all don’t want to do, turn into our mothers, is slapped across our faces with a sense of déjà vu when we do something just like our moms.

I too became relentless in getting my kids to write thank you notes, especially when it came to writing ones to my mom. I didn’t want to come off looking like the daughter and mother who couldn’t get her kids to send thank you notes. That would reflect badly on me!

So when I stumbled upon today’s guest, Nancy Davis Kho, and her book, The Thank-You Project, I gotta tell you I was a bit hesitant since the thought of conjuring up thank you note trauma from childhood did not sit well with me. But the subtitle of the book says, Cultivating Happiness One Letter of Gratitude at a Time which made me stop and think, maybe there’s more to this than I think. So I read the book.

The book is a fun read and it’s just like Nancy is sitting across from you at a bar drinking an IPA beer and telling you how to write your thank you letters with her no nonsense style and quick-witted humor.

Her book breaks down how to write thank you letters of gratitude to the people in your life that have supported you throughout the years and how those people got you to where you are today. And yes it includes writing to those who may have hurt you or you still hold a grudge against.

It teaches you to exercise your gratitude muscle and the more you use it, the easier it gets to release what’s holding you back, forgive those who have hurt you, and ensure that nothing has been left unsaid to the people who matter most to you.

So who is Nancy Davis Kho?

Nancy is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, The Rumpus, and The Toast. She's been recognized as a Voice of the Year in the Humor Category by BlogHer and was the inaugural champion of Oakland's Literary Death Match.

She covers “the years between being hip and breaking one” on her blog at MidlifeMixtape and on the Midlife Mixtape Podcast.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How gratitude can help rewire our brain to look for the goodness in every situation.
  • To help you find the specific thing that a person did to help make your life better.
  • How writing thank you letters can remind you that you are more than just the person you think you are now.
  • How the thank you letters might give you closure for past relationships.

During the interview I tell her that I don’t want to look at the thank you letters as another “thing to do” on my to do list. She encouraged me to just start by making the list of people I want to write to.

So, I’ve made my list and am looking at it instead of a “thing to do” but as a way to give a gift to each person. And quite possibly, in the process, give myself the gifts of forgiveness and gratitude.

I’ll talk to you later, Beautiful!

Links mentioned in this episode and to learn more about Nancy:

Transcript:

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Alice Agnello, Lifestyle and Success Coach

I'm Alice Agnello.

I’m a California raised, incurable romantic who was too snarky for the corporate world. I love show tunes, chai tea, and all things British. My mission? To help women rediscover who they are, after their kids have grown.

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→  Help figure out what’s bothering you and know it’s okay to go at your own pace.

→ Understand that taking care of yourself is the most important person in your life and to release the guilt.

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Before you go, get the Guide!

Download the FREE guide to 5 Things You Can Do This Week To Help Find Yourself. You are ready to take this next step now that the kids have grown.

The guide will help you:

→  Work on your mindset so you can recognize negative thoughts and work to quiet them.

→  Help figure out what’s bothering you and know it’s okay to go at your own pace.

→ Understand that taking care of yourself is the most important person in your life and to release the guilt.

Sign up to receive my whitty newsletters, tips & tricks, promotions, & other emails, & receive this free guide!