The Gargantuan Gifts of the Good Ole Gratitude Journal
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
~ William Arthur Ward
Do you use a gratitude journal?
If you’re like me (and many others, I suspect), you may have tried, at some point, to write consistently in a gratitude journal…but then perhaps lost interest. If you aren’t familiar with what a “gratitude journal” is, it’s basically just a notebook where you write down (on a daily basis) some of the things in your life you’re grateful for.
Depending on your day, your life and/or your state of mind, the things you might be grateful for can be anything…your cat, your health, your spouse, your bank balance, the roof over your head, the clothes in your closet, the roses in your garden, etc.Once you get rolling, the list of things to be grateful for, on any given day, is usually extensive…infinite, in fact. Click To Tweet
The mindset we bring to the act of being grateful, on the other hand, is where we may need to do a little work. Perspective is everything.
Perhaps not surprisingly, it was my life coach, Rob Flichel, who suggested to me (again) that in order for me to begin to shift my mindset away from lack/fear and towards abundance, I might want to try writing in a gratitude journal. I am very glad I took his advice (because it worked). But to be honest, I was really surprised how FAST it worked!Why is developing an attitude of gratitude important? Click To Tweet
Because what we focus on expands. When we take the time to become aware of how many wonderful things, people, activities, opportunities, etc we already have in our lives, then this feeling of gratitude raises our energetic frequency to attract more positive, wonderful, high-frequency people, relationships, opportunities, etc.
But here’s the interesting thing I am personally finding (thanks in huge part to writing in my gratitude journal every night):The more aware and grateful I become for what already IS in my life, the less concerned I am about getting more. Click To Tweet
But more just keeps on coming!
“Whether it’s strengthening your faith or your beliefs or your frequency or your thoughts or your relationship with Universal Intelligence,” explains “You Are a Badass at Making Money; Master the Mindset of Wealth,” author Jen Sincero, “gratitude is one-stop shopping on your road to mightiness.”
“This isn’t about denying or supressing your feelings,” Sincero continues, “but is about choosing to perceive your life in a powerful way.”
“Get practiced at making gratitude your go-to,” she advises, “notice the eight trillion things around you at all times that you can be grateful for and feel into the grateful experience for all the things coming your way,” advises Sincero. “Become a gratitude machine for all of it.”
Writing in a gratitude journal is a fast track to becoming a gratitude machine.
So, what about all the things in your life that aren’t working—or that you want but don’t yet have? Be grateful for ALL of it…exactly as it is, right now!
“The highest spiritual path is life itself. If you know how to live daily life, it all becomes a liberating experience,” writes Michael A. Singer in his beautiful book, “The Untethered Soul.”
“You have to realize that you only have one choice in this life,” says Singer, “and it’s not about your career, whom you want to marry, or whether you want to seek God. People tend to burden themselves with so many choices. But in the end, you can throw it all away and just make one basic, underlying decision: Do you want to be happy, or do you not want to be happy? It’s really that simple. Once you make that choice, our path through life becomes totally clear.”
I agree with Singer: it really is that simple.Do you want to be happy - or do you not want to be happy? Click To Tweet
“Most people don’t dare give themselves that choice,” says Singer, “because they think it’s not under their control.”
If your answer is “YES, I want to be happy,” then everything inside you begins to shift…not because you can rearrange the world so that only good things happen to you. But rather because you make the decision to choose to perceive what happens to you as a learning experience. And be grateful for it. Why? Because it is – obviously – part of your journey.
“If you decide you are going to be happy from now on for the rest of your life, you will not only be happy,” says Singer, “you will become enlightened. Unconditional happiness is the highest technique there is.”
But know this: “Once you decide you want to be unconditionally happy, something inevitably will happen that challenges you,” advises Singer. “This test of your commitment is exactly what stimulates spiritual growth.”
Again, this is where gratitude comes in. “When you’re grateful for the lessons in challenging situations instead of feeling pissed off or put out or sorry for yourself,” explains Jen Sincero, “you raise your frequency and open yourself up to receiving more high-frequency experiences instead of repeating crappy old ones.”
“When everything is going well, it’s easy to be happy,” Michael Singer reminds us. “But the moment something difficult happens, it’s not so easy. The question is not whether they will happen. Things are going to happen. The real question is whether you want to be happy regardless of what happens.”
My answer is yes. How about you?
Writing in a gratitude journal helps us remember – on a daily basis – all the good, positive, wonderful things in our lives…past and present. It also helps us perceive the not-so-positive things happening in our lives from a different perspective. Taking the time to write down all that IS working (and what we do have) helps us put us into perspective what isn’t working (or what we don’t have).
One of the many people in my life I am grateful for is my life coach, Rob. He was bang-on with the gratitude journal advice. For not only did things indeed start to shift; they shifted fast. Not just in my external world…but, more importantly, something inside me began to shift.
The more I expressed my gratitude – in written form on the page – the more I began to realize (yet again) all the incredible things I already have to be grateful for. Plus, I began to look at my troubles, challenges, obstacles, etc not only as comparatively small…but also as integral components of my journey. If I don’t yet have something I really want, then it’s simply because I haven’t yet learned what I need to.
In other words, I realized I had been:
“Standing knee deep in a river and dying of thirst.”
~ Kathy Mattea
Because humans, of course, do tend to focus on the negative…whatever isn’t working instead of all that is. I just didn’t realize what a disservice I was doing to myself by focusing on lack (what was supposedly missing/not working) instead of developing a mindset of abundance and thanking the powers that be for all the incredible things that are in my life, have been…and are yet to come.
“Gratitude, above all other thoughts,” explains Jen Sincero, “unites you with Universal Intelligence because you’re basically matching your frequency to the frequency of the Universe via thoughts and feelings of love.”What are you grateful for today? Click To Tweet
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Maryanne Pope is the author of “A Widow’s Awakening.” She also writes screenplays, playscripts and blogs. She is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and a co-founder of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. To receive Maryanne’s blog, “Weekly Words of Wisdom,” please subscribe here.