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If February is the month of love, November is the month of gratitude. It even ends with Thanksgiving, which is one of my favorite national holidays (along with my birthday). But I want to write about thanksgiving with a small “t.” The practice of giving thanks: gratitude.
I believe I heard Oprah say that gratitude is like “Miracle Gro” for all the good in a person’s life. When I take the time to acknowledge the good around me, however small to human comprehension, I’m accepting that good into my life and even magnifying it. See? Miracle Gro.
But since gratitude needs action and not just declaration, I, like many, started a gratitude journal. I had hopes of writing in it every day. I envisioned a quiet, spiritual, 20-minute oasis before my family woke up. Well…sometimes I do it every day, sometimes I miss days and even weeks, and sometimes I use that oasis to read trashy novels, BUT I DO IT.
I write down five to ten things that I am grateful for. They can be mundane (this blissful cup of coffee) or profound (the gift of Motherhood). The only rule I have is that they have to resonate in my body. I have to feel the gratitude before I write it down.
On Oprah.com (I love all things Oprah), Michael Losier says, “By acknowledging what you are grateful for in your journal, you’ll become a deliberate attractor of positive vibrations. You can only have one vibration at a time, and if you are noticing what you appreciate and noticing what you are grateful for, you can’t be noticing what you don’t like.”
That was powerful to me. I read it over and over again, because I spent A LOT of time thinking about things that I don’t like, or that need fixing, or that make me mad, or upset me…you get the picture.
But writing down a few things that I feel deep down grateful for, changes my orientation for the day. It sets my internal compass.
My sister, Jane, sent me a wonderful hymn when I was going through a particularly dark 4 years (the universe was trying to teach me a lesson and I was a slow learner). The whole hymn is about gratitude, but the first verse is particularly apt:
“A grateful heart a garden is,
Where there is always room
For every lovely, Godlike grace
To come to perfect bloom.”
So, here’s an idea, how about we take this time to practice gratitude and see how we bloom? I am practicing moving into my day with expectations of good, getting out of bed ready to meet and see God’s many blessings.
I want to invite you to start a gratitude journal with your own family for the month of November—and maybe even share it over Thanksgiving dinner. If you already keep a journal, tell me when you write, and how it has or hasn’t impacted your outlook on life. What are you grateful for this holiday season? Here are 5 things for me:
1. I am grateful I am in love with and admire my husband.
2. I am grateful that my daughters still like me!
3. I am grateful that my arms don’t look like my legs (think; bag of doorknobs).
4. I am grateful my good friend moved next door and became my neighbor.
5. I’ve said it before, but I can feel it in my body so I am going to write it; I am grateful for the WTF family. Thank you for being a part of it and have a Happy Thanksgiving (with a big T).