Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gratitude Journals

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is Thank You, it will be enough."
-meister eckhart

My gratitude journal started when I was in my 20's.  I didn't actually call it a gratitude journal back then, but it was a place where I recorded all the  things that made me happy or inspired me or for which I was grateful -- quotes that struck a chord in me, pictures that made me happy, anything in my life that was especially uplifting and made my spirit soar.  I started compiling it at a time when I was particularly grateful for the spiritual help I had been given with a difficult problem -- one I couldn't solve on my own.  I asked -- prayed really, and I'm not a praying person -- for the help out loud, and the impossible was given to me.  It was really a miracle, and I was so grateful that I needed to find a way to say thank you.  That's when my gratitude journal began, and I've never stopped.  

These days I still put all kinds of things into my gratitude journal -- funny jokes I come across, silly pictures (dogs wearing hats, people  making faces), quotes that inspire me, anecdotes about things that at first don't seem gratitude-provoking but later remind me that I should be grateful for even the annoyances in my life.  I'm thinking of it today because tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the day when we all stop to think about things we are grateful for.  

I love Thanksgiving, (even if I do have to deal with the stress of trying to cook a reasonable meal), because I love to look at the faces of the family that I love all together in one place.  I think back to the many  Thanksgivings that have passed and especially those of my childhood, of my father's delight in saying "I have all of my loved ones with me!" and of the faces of my brothers and sister, mom and dad  and grandma as we were growing up, sitting around the dining room table.  I remember the year it snowed on Thanksgiving just as we were eating our dinner, and the walks I took with my dad after our meal.  And I remember my grandma Flora talking endlessly in Italian.  They are treasures that are just as much a part of my gratitude journal as the pictures I've pasted in there over the years.  Tomorrow I will be grateful for those memories and for having my own children with me, just as my father was with us.  Life is indeed a circle and love?  Immortal.


Mar said...

good name for the journal.
i like that
i keep journals and they each have their own purpose...

one is becoming the gratitude that i have a good name for it

Holli said...

Great post.....made me stop and think for a moment about what I'm grateful for this year. I used to continuously be thankful for the years I've been given since my heart attack and somewhere along the way i lost track of that. I need to get that back and your post was just what I needed.

GardeningJo said...

I said this on my blog in response to your comment on my "Thanksgiving Eve" post but after reading your post here, I want to repeat: You have such a way with words! It's tremendous!

Perhaps this comes with time (aka age) but I've come to see it as not counting our blessings but appreciating them because it's not about how many we have.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Susan Hosken said...

I wish I'd started my gratitude journal in my 20s. How wonderful to look back on. I'm glad I started in my late 40s in earnest. I love it every night listing my gratitudes. Oprah Winfrey got me doing it.
lots of love from susan in australia

Citygirl-Em said...

I've been toying with the idea of beginning a gratitude journal. If you think about it, each day brings something new to be thankful for and sometimes it's the most unusual things! I think you've convinced me to get mine started.

I know one thing. I'm pretty thankful I found you and your lovely blog.