Finding space for gratitude


Last week, when I was at Target, I came across a pack of three super cute notebooks.  I couldn’t resist them, so I purchased them.  They are the perfect size to carry around in my purse, since I’m always obsessively scribbling to do lists and the like.  This one is my favorite:

My gratitude journal

I love the quote “Looking at the stars always makes me dream.”

I decided that this was going to be my gratitude journal.  Everything I was grateful for, no matter how small, I would note in these pages.  At first, my comments were snarky and tongue in cheek.   I was writing stuff like “I’m grateful that every single thing I’ve hung on my classroom has not fallen off the walls over night,”  and “I’m thankful that I did not step in the cat vomit” and “I’m glad I took a decent picture, even though I didn’t know it was picture day,” and, ” I’m grateful that the faculty meeting only lasted 2.3 hours.”  When I re-read these statements, it almost seems like they are backwards statements of gratitude, and not really heartfelt.  But then…

Then, a strange shift happened.  I began to LOOK for things to write in the journal, and to be grateful for.  The tone of the entries changed.  I began to write things that sound like this:  “I’m grateful for the walk that Chris and I took tonight” and “I’m thankful for the wonderfully beautiful sound of the crickets at night.  When I die, I want my soul carried away on the sound of their song,” and “I’m thankful for the delicious smell and tart/sweetness of the perfectly ripe peach I enjoyed for lunch today.”

What this means to me, is that by contemplating gratitude, my mind and my heart are now opening up to find things to be grateful for.   I even love writing in that delightfully inspiring little notebook.

 

So…here’s my challenge to you, as a way to “bring back the joy.”  Find at least two things each day, to be grateful for.  If you want, record them in a lovely journal of some sort.  It doesn’t matter how small these things are, just become mindful of your life’s little blessings.    Then, note how your life shifts and changes beautifully.  What a wonderful practice!  ♥

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Rebecca says:

    Love your notebook! I also love gratitude journals. I strongly believe gratitude is the key to happiness….my life is greatly enhanced because of gratitude!

    I tried something new a few months ago as suggested in a book I was reading (Gratitude by Melody Beattie). Her suggestion was this….in addition to writing down things you perceive as “good”, also write down the things you are NOT grateful for, then practice being grateful for those things. It sounds strange, but it’s amazing how doing this practice changed my point of view!

    The idea is that you try not to place a value judgement of good or bad on things – they just are part of your life and you are grateful for them. For example, I might write “I am grateful for getting angry with so and so today”…although it feels disingenuous at first to be grateful for something that I might perceive as “bad”, it ultimately helps me re-frame the feeling and appreciate it for the insight it gives me.

    I have learned through this practice to be grateful for all my emotions, even when they are uncomfortable ones, because they are helpful indicators and tools for me.

    I hope I’m explaining this in a way that makes sense…..anyway, when I started this practice, it helped me understand gratitude in a whole new way….it has been amazingly beneficial!!

    Good luck on your new school year! Love your new classroom.

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