As of late, I have been faithfully filling at least one page in “My Book of Blessings” every evening. It takes time and the choice to rise each morning with the intention of remaining cognizant of the blessings that are occurring in my life throughout the day.
I have kept various gratitude journals or written my blessings on slips of paper to fill a thankful jar in years past. After I have recorded my blessings for a period of time, I often think that I have made the practice a habit in my mind and can think about my blessings each day instead of writing them out.
However, I seem to find myself coming back to the act of writing them after any time away from the habit. I find that writing down my gratitude list ensures that I live with a stronger sense of awareness about the blessings that are happening in my life as opposed to when I simply think about them. It is the act of journaling about my blessings that puts my mind in a perpetual state of gratitude. The more I record, the more I think about all that I have to record and the more I actively search for things to record. Perhaps it is different for everyone.
This time, as I was reading a fun summer book, one of the characters suggests to her friend that she start a book titled “My Book of Blessings” and fill a page every evening. As I was not expecting to pick up tips in my vacation read, I took this as a welcome reminder to begin the habit again.
Although the topic of gratitude has been discussed many times before, I think now more than ever it is important to continue the conversation. With the violence in our world often dominating headlines, we are being reminded- daily it seems- of the presence of evil. Who is reminding us of the presence of good? Let us continue to bring attention to all the goodness in this world, because it is there too.
An attitude of gratitude is an umbrella for many other wonderful attributes in life. Living in a state of gratefulness produces a joyful heart. It fosters compassion. Are we not more compassionate with others when we feel blessed by their presence in our lives? Gratitude allows us to be empathetic, as well. When we are wholeheartedly thankful for our own journey, we are able to more lovingly understand others. Living with appreciation for our beautiful world keeps us in a state of wonder and amazement. We are more apt to notice the magnificent roses along our path that may have gone unnoticed before. Remaining focused on our blessings releases us from being chained to the persistent thoughts that push us to acquire more. Gratitude gives us the freedom to see that what we have is enough and to be at peace in the present.
How do you live with an attitude of gratitude?
I once had a yoga teacher who instructed us to journal every evening for a month. We were to answer these three questions:
Who or what inspired you today?
What brought you deep peace today?
What brought you happiness today?
How can you answer those questions for yourself? What would you write to fill a page in a book of blessings? However you choose to express your thankfulness for the good in your life, you will reap countless benefits as you do. That in itself is something to be grateful for!
There is something wonderful about you. There is something special about your life. You are blessed with something that no one else has.
When a client is having a difficult time getting started or identifying his or her next steps, one question I might ask is, “What do you have going for you right now?”
You’ve got it- that something that no one else has. So now I will ask you, “What do you have going for you right now?”
Live with a grateful heart today, and challenge yourself to find the goodness that is present each day. As you appreciate your life, you will develop a greater appreciation for yourself and all that you have to offer the world. That paves the way for more blessings to unfold along your path.
Believe the best is possible for you, and what you choose to see will manifest.