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KerryOn: Gratitude

Like many of us, holiday time seems to bring me closer to gratitude. It makes me grateful for my family, grateful for my health, and grateful for the opportunities in life. I frequently have a feeling of gratitude when I take a pause and consider all the beauty around me.

As much as I want to say I stroll through life with an ever-flowing supply of gratitude, it doesn’t always stay consistently present in my mind. I can especially be derailed when stressors and frustration kick in.


To have gratitude as a state of mind, I intentionally practice it every day. For a few years, I’ve been working on this practice each morning when I wake. I take several deep breaths while I listen to a meditation and walk outside in the woods. It is in these moments I find the opportunity to be grateful for the life I am living. Of course, I have these feelings throughout the day at other various times and in short stints, but nothing like during my nature walk.


I’ve learned, however that these moments are just for me, mostly about my family. I wanted to share the gratitude with my family. As our kids grew, we used little activities to express gratitude. We would write notes and place them in a jar, we would share them before a special dinner, we event wrote words of gratitude on a pumpkin table centerpiece. There are many unique ways to express gratitude.


We also realized that expressing our gratitude for each other brought us closer as a family. In our house, we practice this by writing our thoughts on special cards, one for each person, during the holiday season. We write why we’re grateful for the person and what makes them special. We take turns reading these, and then we give the card to the person as a keepsake and reminder that they are loved. The actions of both writing, and verbally sharing the gratitude is not only beneficial to the person delivering the message, it’s also helpful for the person receiving it. To receive gratitude from others is a gift, and it’s important to receive that gift graciously with a “thank you”.


The world is grateful to have you. Continue to practice gratitude. Thank you. KerryOn.

Special Note: The gratitude pumpkin is from 2015 asking, “What am I thankful for?”. If you look closely, you’ll see “imagination” written by one of the kids.

KerryOn Questions

- How can you create a gratitude practice?

- Who are the people in your life that make you feel grateful? Why?

- In what ways will you share your gratitude for them?

The Kerry behind KerryOn

My name is Kerry K. Fierke, Ed.D. (pron. Fear-Key) I have a unique combination of skills and experience – decades of fast-paced corporate experience in Fortune 100 companies and large health care organizations, combined with the academic rigor of a highly ranked research university. My focus is supporting others to create their own path to leadership development, lifelong learning, and a unique leadership legacy. Take a moment to focus on leadership, then KerryOn!

To see all KerryOn's and other leadership stuff, visit

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Erica Buck
Erica Buck

I appreciate the practice of writing why you are grateful for a family member. Too often we assume people know why we love them, or we casually say it, but the writing of it is more permanent and powerful.

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