With Thanksgiving approaching, I knew in my next blog entry I wanted to write about keeping a gratitude journal, but I could have never predicted how perfect the timing would be, and, for my need to feel, write and express my feelings as part of my own personal journey.
I started a gratitude journal last January as a New Year’s Resolution which, by the way, is something I don’t usually believe in. As life happens, my journaling consistency was hit or miss, but the timing of recent events, could not have been a better reminder to find gratitude in everything and get back to aconsistent gratitude journaling.
Jack Kornfield says “gratitude is a gracious acknowledgement of all that sustains us, a bow to our blessings, great and small, an appreciation of the moments of good fortune, that sustains our life everyday. We have so much to be grateful for. Gratitude is confidence in life itself”.
As each day passes there are things I tell myself to remember. Take note of this moment. It will never be here again. Even the times when it is not a desirable moment. Tell myself: Remember. Learn. Discover. Hope.
Working on my gratitude journaling blog has brought me back to my focus of seeing gratitude EVERYWHERE. Even with my Mom’s recent health scare, and, having no idea how things would turn out, there have been so many places to find gratitude. The wonderful hospital staff , the beautiful view from the hospital room of the leaves changing colors, connection with family, the intense strength and power of friendships and prayer, Wren’s Nest Healing Center for the space to be on my mat and connect with my breath. Lastly, the realization that perhaps, sometimes we need to meet people where they are, and not where we think they should be.
So, lets get started on gratitude journaling.
MerriamWebster.com defines gratitude= as a feeling of appreciation or thanks
Why start a gratitude journal?
A gratitude journal helps us realize and appreciate what we already have and connects us with inner peace and makes us receptive to the good things coming into our life.
You will start to notice things you would not have otherwise and once you start keeping your gratitude journal it will help you constantly look for things to be grateful for…big and small (fresh flowers, someone holding open the door for you).
Studies actually show that when we consciously give thanks that our well being and happiness can be effected. Being thankful is an attitude we will start to develop that will make us more conscious of parts of life that makes us smile.
Gratitude moments help me stay grateful and happy for my life as it is.
How to get started:
Start with special journal or notebook and each day be on the lookout for 3-5 things to put in your gratitude journal. Sometimes I make notes during the day and then enter them in my journal in the evening.
There are several gratitude journal apps, but I still prefer the old school way of putting pen to paper. Also, know keeping a gratitude journal should not feel like a chore so, use it as a reflective meditative time. Always look for the little moments. Try to expand your list; not writing the same thing everydayand look at problems or difficulties from a different perspective. Find positive; gratitude for the hard stuff is what helps us grow. Through struggle is where we find out strength.
Last months blog was on setting intentions, so, maybe set an intention to begin a practice of gratitude.
Most importantly, enjoy. Perhaps, become a little more aware, a little more mindful and remember there is always, always, something to be thankful for, my friends.