Hello, everyone! It’s a joy to be with you here today on Silver Threading. When Colleen asked me to guest post about gratitude journals on Mindful Mondays, I was pleasantly surprised and quite honored. My first guest post – I was excited and raring to get to it! Then I sat down at the computer with my cup of coffee and thought, “Where do I begin?” Hmmm…I don’t seem to have this problem when I write posts for my blog, Leisure Lane. So I decided coffee wasn’t going to cut it, I better get out the big guns – CHOCOLATE! Ah, that’s better – you know what I mean?
I’ve always read that it’s good to write down what you want in your life, or the things you’re grateful for. I had never been one for writing in a daily journal. I think because it seemed like too much work. But I had no idea what too much work was until circumstances forced me into my present job.
Prior to getting this job, seven years ago, I had been on a four-year intense and wonderful spiritual journey. For the first time in years, I was experiencing peace, joy, and contentment. And fear, which had been my constant companion, had been nearly completely wiped away from my consciousness.
As an artist and writer, this job was not really what I wanted to do with my precious time. But I had learned quite a bit on my spiritual journey, and so I decided that I would take my peace and my joy into this new job, and perhaps make a difference there. Boy, oh boy, was that naïve! Peace? Joy? That’s not what this grocery store ordered. They weren’t going to have any of that. Just stand in your spot and don’t say a word to anyone unless you’re selling the product we tell you to sell. That was their motto, and they were sticking to it. Needless to say there are a lot of discontented employees there, and little by little I was becoming part of that discontentment. The negativity is so thick you really could cut it with the proverbial knife.
After years of working in that harsh, negative, unforgiving, and demanding environment, I was losing everything I had gained within myself. I began to join in the grumbling and complaining. And a day off here and there was not enough to refill what was being sucked out of me. I was not only exhausted physically and mentally, but I was turning into something I didn’t recognize or like…a very negative person. And to make matters worse, I had cornered myself into this sort of retail position.
Then three years ago, I knew I had to do something. So I decided that every night when I got into bed, I would write down one thing…just one thing I was grateful for. I didn’t care what it was, just as long as I recognized a blessing somewhere in my day. So I found a little spiral notebook, and one evening I began…My Gratitude List.
I found out that I could think of not only one thing, but two or three – from a cool breeze, to the life and breathe of my son. Then the next night, I was grateful for air conditioning on hot days and heat on cold days; for my good health; for clean water…the lists began to get longer, as I began to find more things to be grateful for.
As this progressed, my gratitude journal began to turn into an affirmation journal. Gratitude and affirmations seem to go hand in hand. I began affirming not only the good that was already in my life but the good I wanted to come into my life.
Well, three years and four journals later, I still appreciate and affirm in writing. And I enjoy going back and reading the older ones. I can see what has come to pass, or happen upon something that I need reminding of.
If you have a gratitude journal, please let us know how it works for you. If you’ve never written a gratitude journal, I encourage you to begin now.
You can write in different colors, draw pictures, or cut and paste pictures from magazines that help you to envision the life you want, or things that make you happy. I’ve even added scripture verses, personalizing them with my name, or the name of a loved one.
Make it your very own. Utilize it whenever you desire…in the quiet of the morning to set your day; in the afternoon to refresh your day, or at night to meditate on your day. Don’t stress yourself about it. If you can’t write in it once in a while, be fine with it, and just do it another day.
This is your life, these are your blessings. Recognizing them, and engaging your gratitude and emotions in them open the door for more to come through to you.
The store hasn’t changed, but I’ve learned how to adjust my thoughts and emotions. Through keeping a journal, I’ve learned what I need to do to take better care of myself in that situation while inviting new and creative opportunities into my Life. That store will not always be in my life, but gratitude will be. Affirming the positive with our thoughts and words is what we’re built to do. We flourish and thrive from it. And that’s truly something to be grateful for.
Thank you for joining in on Mindful Mondays, and…
Until next time, may happy days abound!
Would you like to share your mindfulness journey with others? If you are interested in sharing your goals or aspirations, I want to highlight your journey here on Silver Threading. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to feature you on a guest post. This is our journey into mindfulness. The more we share and learn from each other, the better our journey becomes.
Remember, this is not a challenge. This is an offering of support. If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday goals you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making. If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary. My main aim here is to give and get support to become more mindful of the things I take for granted in my life.
I want to give a very special thanks to Marianne for sharing her gratitude journal with all of us. I know that I am going to start my own gratitude journal and I hope you will join us! Have a fabulous week everyone!