Monday, January 2, 2012

Practicing Gratitude

So maybe I'm not into New Year's resolutions, but a wonderful tool for healing and finding peace in the chaos of every day life is a Gratitude Journal.  And a perfect time to start a Gratitude Journal is the beginning of the new year.

I was first introduced to this concept over 10 years ago.  A counselor I was seeing for my depression suggested I start reading Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  (I highly recommend this book for women from all walks of life.)  In the book Sarah recommends starting a Gratitude Journal as part of the Simple Abundance path.  Each day write down five things you are grateful for no matter what kind of day you've had.  On good days you may have some wonderful things to write down.  On bad days you may only have your health, the roof over your head, your child's health, etc.  The point is that as long as you are alive there is something to grateful for.

My use of the Gratitude Journal has ebbed and flowed over the years.  During my first introduction I consistently wrote in it for a year. The process definitely has a positive impact on your outlook on life. I have since picked it up periodically when times have been tough. 

A few days after my assault and sending my husband to jail, I once more picked up my gratitude journal and starting writing again and have been for the past year.  My first entry was "My son, E, his health, my health, the roof over our heads, my job, his happiness, his cheerfulness, imagination and creativity.  I am blessed."  During the days after the assault in dealing with attorneys, restraining orders, separation agreements, child support or lack of child support, selling my house, etc.,  the journal helped keep me centered, find a little bit of peace, and keep my perspective in the midst of chaos.  And now that things have somewhat settled down the journal continues to remind me of the abundance I have in my life and to appreciate the small wonderful things, like sitting on my back porch at night and listening to the crickets, the smell of my lavender candle, the sound of E's laugh, a good talk with a close friend, and having a good run.

Practicing gratitude in your daily life transforms your perspective, your attitude, and ultimately your reality.  If you wish to read more on the subject of practicing gratitude try Living Life as a Thank You by Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons.

Have a very blessed day.  And I am extremely grateful for my new followers and readers and having this opportunity to reach others.  Maybe just maybe I can help one person.  :o)


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  2. Martin Seligman, a leading expert on positive psychology highly recommend a gratitude journal to usher in "happiness" in ones life. I kept one during my pregnancy and it surely lifted my spirits and kept me positive. I love your account on how the gratitude journal helps you each day. I sure love it for helping me look at the wonderful blessings in my life. I am grateful to have found your blog :-)

  3. Hi dear! I am now following you, too!! :)
    I adore this post. And you. You are wonderful. You have such a wonderful testimony to share with others. God will shine through you in this. I look forward to getting to know you and learning from you!

    Is this on your "to read" list - The Language of Letting Go, Daily Meditations on Codependency by Melody Beattie? I feel like I might need to read it :)

    Happy New Year!! Again, so blessed to have met you!

    <3-Cami from First Day of My Life

  4. There is definitely a lot out there about how practicing gratitude can transform your life. Thank you both for your comments

    Cami , yes, I've been reading melody beattie's book for almost a year. My therapist recommended. I'm amazed at how many times the daily meditations are so revelant.

    Take care,

  5. Hey Cami, wanted to let you know that I grabbed your button and have it on my site.

    Have a great day!