Thursday, November 20, 2014

Writing Gratitude

From Cheryl's Writing Crate

During this wonderful season of Thanksgiving, today's post is devoted to what I consider one of the greatest gifts a person can have--gratitude.
We all experience difficult days, sometimes very long stretches of challenge after challenge, but if we have the tools to turn those tough times into temporary setbacks and instead focus on all the positives in our lives, I believe we live a fulfilling, joyful and worthwhile life.
One of the most popular ways to live a grateful life is to keep a gratitude journal.  You've probably heard this said many times, but have you ever thought about keeping one yourself?  My first experience with a gratitude journal came from reading one of my favorite and most meaningful books, Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  This book really tuned me into the art of appreciating the simple things in my life.  I still keep this treasured book on my nightstand and have given dozens away as gifts to the special women in my life.
I must admit, however, although I first read Simple Abundance in 1996, it wasn't until a few years ago that I actively kept a gratitude journal.  I had good intentions for many years but my ready-made excuse of "busy mom of eight kids" was usually the reason I never kept at it
My gratitude journal means many things to me, but at the end of the day if you were to have a peek at the hundreds of pages I've written I think you'd be surprised at how simple my thoughts usually are.
There are days when I give thanks for a beautiful new piece of artwork hanging in my house, or finally finding a pair of jeans that fit me just right.  I also note the amazing experiences I am so lucky to have like visiting my dream publisher--Macmillan--in NYC--because I work for them or how fortunate I am to have just taken 7 of my 8 kids on a fabulous trip to Disney World this past summer.  But for the most part, my pages are filled with things such as being able to listen to Christmas music in early November, cuddling with my dogs on the couch after a full day of work, baking brownies with my 9-year old daughter, sharing my smile with people all day long.  Those are what I jot down in my gratitude journal on a regular basis.
So, today, one week before we celebrate Thanksgiving, I wanted to share with you how important gratitude is not only in my life, but especially to my writing.
If you've ever contemplated keeping a gratitude journal for yourself, this just might be the perfect time to give it a try.  And if you already do have one, what keeps you writing in it on a regular basis?

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