Why not begin a ‘gratitude journal’ now?

Last Sunday was a spectacular day. There was a blue, blue sky with little puffy white clouds and the naked trees in our backyard gracefully swayed in the gentle wind.
Even though we’ve had a killing frost, the asparagus fern outside my window was bright green and vigorous. And the burning bushes were adorned in brilliant red.
As I sat at my computer, I watched a squirrel preening himself. His tail upright and bushy.
It was a perfect day outside—and inside. In the living room, we had a cozy fire in the fireplace.
So close to (U.S.) Thanksgiving Day, no wonder I felt grateful. And it also made me think of a quote from William Ward, “God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?’”
Think about it—every day is a special gift. And we should never take anything for granted.
Expressing gratitude can change our world and our lives.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend,” says Melody Beattie in Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book, “Simple Abundance.”
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow,” Beattie adds.
In “Simple Abundance,” Breathnach recommends keeping a Gratitude Journal.
She says a Gratitude Journal can change the quality of your life beyond belief. It can help you become happier and more content, and will nurture your creativity.
When you are ready to begin your journal, you have two options. Buy a blank notebook. Or if you prefer, buy the delightful book by Breathnach—“The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude.”
In Breathnach’s book, every day has five lines where you list five things you are grateful for that day. And every week has an inspirational quote.
The first week of July features a quote from Bob Hope, “When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things—not the great occasions—that, in retrospect, give off the greatest glow of happiness.”
Writing in your Gratitude Journal daily will help you become more conscious of those special simple things. Your five items don’t need to be profound.
Just list some of the simple joys of the day—dark chocolate, warm clothes, a computer and e-mail, bright red cardinals, butterflies and poinsettias, orange juice, snowflakes, full moon and sunny days, the comforts of home and friends.
When you feel great, gratitude will double your feeling. If you feel sorry for yourself or if you are stuck in “awfulizing,” gratitude will remind you of your true wealth.
Breathnach says, as the months pass and you fill your journal, an inner shift in your reality will occur. You will be more content and hopeful.
“As you focus on the abundance rather than on the lack in your life, you will be designing a wonderful new blueprint for the future. This sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work, transforming your dreams into reality.”
In this season of Thanksgiving, commit to gratitude as a way of life. Why not begin your Gratitude Journal today?
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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