Monday, January 18, 2010

Simple Abundance: Keeping a Gratitude Journal

This past week's daily readings in Simple Abundance focused on gratitude and our assignment was to start keeping a gratitude journal.

I've done a gratitude journal in the past and it really can be helpful. The last time I did it, I was dealing with a very severe depressive episode. If I could get out of bed, dress and feed myself, I was having a good day. I started keeping a journal that was basically a list of accomplishments and a list of things for which I was grateful each day.

It was difficult at first, especially because my lists were very short and basic. Sometimes it was hard to come up with even 5 things for the day. But slowly my lists got longer, my accomplishments bigger. I could see that I was making progress. I could look back and see that little, good things were happening in my life. Keeping that journal was very helpful to my healing.

So now, many years later, I'm beginning a new gratitude journal, already filling up with good, everyday things that I appreciate. I keep my little journal on my bedside table and write my gratitude list before I go to sleep at night.

Its interesting how this exercise already is making me more aware of all the little gems in my life-- maybe things I've noticed before, but never consciously appreciated. Thoughts like, "Oh, I love warm showers," or "Flannel sheets are so soft and cozy," or "New books smell so good," pop into my head and now I pay attention. Its like these little thoughts of appreciation have been given a voice. They become a little points of positive focus throughout the day.

I'm sure I'll have down days where the best I can come up with is the basics-- food, shelter, health. But I think these will be few and far between. Something has changed within me over the years and I've learned-- and am still learning-- to appreciate the little every day gifts my life has to offer. And the more I practice, the better I will get at it.

Other Simple Abundance bloggers:

Clay It Again
Spirit Essence Art
Adventuring Through Life
Curiosities 808


threadsofmagique said...

It's amazing what a difference a gratitude journal can make. Like you, I did one some years ago when I was going through a really difficult time. Somedays just coming up with those 5 items was enough to keep me moving through the day. I may start one again, although I have so much to be thankful for now, I'm not sure where I would start.

Mother's Moon's Message said...

if we are able to find the joy in the simple things of life it can make the larger things even sweeter. Yet honestly I tend to prefer the smaller things as they are like tiny morsels of wonderful tasting things that but tempt you to want more, thus your eyes are even more open for the next

Sharmila said...

This is so beautiful and your etsy shop as well! ;) thanks for sharing here. My latest themes: one of them is gratitude and so this feels divine to be here. I love this classic book and for awhile I was making more notes in my journal- a gratitude section, I must return here.. I'd put a heart and then just note what I loved! how fun! Thank you for this important reminder! blessings to you! my spirit is so soothed by that lovely quilt necklace, I think I will save up for it next! ;) after a symbolic project I complete first! Hopefully you'll still have it then! ;) hugs, Sharmila