In this month’s newsletter, inspired by the New Zealand earthquake, I wrote about gratitude. Since the beginning of the month I’ve kept up the practice of writing a gratitude journal. It opens your eyes to seeing even mundane things in a new light. Give it a go.
My high school english teacher once set us a task. Every night for a week we were asked to recall experiences that we’d encountered that day involving each of our senses. We were to remember a smell, sound, sight, taste and sensation. It was a an eye (mouth, nose and ear!) opening exercise that not only helped our creative writing but helped self-obsessed teens experience the world a little differently.
In Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance I encountered another version of the nightly exercise. Rather than the senses, the focus is on recording five experiences to be grateful for. A gratitude journal is a lovely, simple step towards living more consciously and appreciating the many different aspects of our life.
Some days the act of gratitude comes easily, your team won, a task is completed or a great night is spent with friends but it’s on the tough days that the magic of the journal comes into its own. The nights when you’re tired and things haven’t gone well even a simple list appreciating a warm bed, the comfort of a pet or a sated stomach is enough.
Chris Guillebeau wrote “gratitude is a balanced response to a life filled with highs and lows.” It helps us gain perspective and share it with others.
At the moment I’m grateful for:
1. The people of Christchurch surviving a massive quake.
2. Almost 550 people now subscribe to my newsletter each month – thank you!
3. My father’s recent 84th birthday (6 years of living free of lung cancer and still travelling the world).
4. The abundance of kale growing in my garden.
5. The privilege of helping people live healthier and happier lives.
What are you grateful for? Take the gratitude journal challenge this month to write down five things that you are grateful for each day.