Living Gratitude

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which makes November the perfect time to begin a Gratitude Journal.

Many years ago, I began a Gratitude Journal. Journaling had been my way of maintaining my balance though the ups and downs of life, but keeping a Gratitude Journal was new to me. The idea came from a friend, which was long before popular talk show hosts recommended it.
At the time, I was in a very difficult life-transition. The suggestion to keep a Gratitude Journal was given in the hopes that the journal would help me count my blessings, of which, at the time, I thought I had few.
Interestingly, the more I wrote in my journal, the more blessings I found in my life. The more blessings I found, the more 'whole' I became. I began to see how rich my life was, in spite of the issues I was dealing with on a day-to-day basis. Later, when my parents died less than a year apart, the ability to count my blessings helped me through my grieving process.
So, here is the challenge - keep a Gratitude Journal this month. Each day, write in your journal. List at least three things, for which you are grateful. These things do not have to be grandiose. Simple pleasures are fine.

You can even create a theme for each week:

• During the first week of November, journal your gratitude for family
• Second week - friends
• Third week - conveniences
• Fourth week - lessons learned

Don't get stuck trying to write profound statements. One or two words can suffice. For example: warmth of the shower, maple tree in the back yard, when Dad died (being grateful for his life)

The magic of a Gratitude Journal is that if we make an effort to write, each day or each week, we suddenly find ourselves finding more ways to be grateful, as this happens, our outlook on life changes. We see more beauty and happiness than before.
The upshot of keeping my Gratitude Journal was that I now "live" in Gratitude.  Nothing happens during the course of a day that doesn't get seen as a gift...even the bad or difficult things.  I learned by keeping the journal that my life is rich in the things that, friends, love, Life!

Truly, it has been this ability to see the gifts within each situation that has helped me through the past year of unemployment (or under-employment, since I have worked at many part-time positions) as well as the recent disappointment in not being able to refinance my mortgage.  Don't get me wrong, I'm no saint!  I get upset and angry just like anyone, but when I take time to be still, the Spirit reminds me that there are gifts to be had if I look.  So, I do, and in seeing them, I feel better.
Putting words to paper, holding a light on the dark corners of our conscious, truly helps bring about healing, peace and balance. Giving thanks for both the Light and the Darkness, helps us to stay the course, follow the path and Live the Love.
For prompts on writing your own Gratitude Journal, click here.

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Anonymous said…
Thanks, Linda. Wonderful reminder, especially now when so many people are struggling. Love the prayer flags over the pond:)
Hi, Robyn!

Thanks for your note. The picture was taken up at the Peace Pagoda in Leverett, MA. We go, often. It is so peace-filled there...helps us to ground!

Peace, Linda

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