It was one day too many that I woke up to a lovely, sunny day in a “Monday morning” state of being – ready to turn over and pull the covers up over my head, anything but gather myself to sit up, put my feet on the floor, enter the day.

I’m not talking about any particular dread of what I anticipated the day might hold – just an unruly streak of crankiness and a night of unrestful sleep.

That was the day I took a green Sharpie, printed THANK YOU on a small yellow post-it, and laid it next to the small alarm clock on my night table.

I intended THANK YOU to be a cue to help me enter my day with more awareness, and it worked.

Some days I was aware of softening as I alighted one after another on breath, spouse, health, roof, running water, the whole order of my physical world that had not been upended while I slept. On such days I was reminded that in spite of the fact that all does not depend on my personal acts of will and exertion, I do still have a place in the world.

And some days I was unpleasantly but equally usefully aware of a gap between my wanting to and my inability to feel thankful. Either way I was more whole, more awake, and able to bring that into my day.

THANK YOU is not just good manners, or WD40 for a civil society. It can be a habit-breaker.

When we habitually fail to notice what is around us, and that we are a part of it, we unconsciously say No thank you! to life, and cut ourselves off from aliveness and connection. Because everything in life has the vividness of its distinct existence, and the power of its connectedness.

Try a THANK YOU post-it on your night table, bathroom mirror, fridge, or screen saver.

Or maybe your habit-breaker is PLEASE or YOU’RE WELCOME.

Let me know how it works.

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