It's almost Thanksgiving, like in less than 24 hours. I am spending the day relaxing, catching up on blogging since I haven't posted a blog post in a little bit, and decluttering (i.e. getting rid of teaching materials that I haven't used in about five years). All in all a pretty nice day.
Recently I've been doing a lot of reading about the incredible benefits of keeping a Gratitude Journal. You know, by consciously thinking and taking a moment to acknowledge the good in your life you can actually change your brain. Let me find someone to quote about that.....hold please......how about the always positive Deepak Chopra, Cultivate The Healing Power of Gratitude. There are so many things to be gained by paying attention to all the things one has to be grateful and thankful for each and every day.
One of my goals for 2017 is to be more attentive to the good that happens to me every day. I think part of my resistance towards keeping a Gratitude Journal is that I'm afraid nothing big enough will happen that is worthy of noting. But really, it is the small, consistent things that we need to note. Yes, we need to take note of the big, large, in your face, amazing things that happen to us. But, at the same time, we need to pay even more attention to the small, easy to miss, repetitive things that happen to us. Those things that we are so used to we don't even notice them any more. Like your heart beating.....how incredible is the human body?!? Homeostasis much? Crisp, cool, clean air to breathe. Amazing! The list goes on and on. To return to Deepak Chopra for a minute, he sets out the challenge to "not repeating items from the previous days— this will make you look more deeply at all the little things that enhance your life and give you joy..." Seems simple in theory but I am going to try and hold myself to that for one month. Can I list three things every single day for which I am thankful and NOT repeat myself once?
I have a planner that I have devoted to be a Gratitude Journal (click here for $10 off of your first Erin Condren order) that runs through December 2017, so I really have no excuse to NOT journal my gratitudes every day. Deepak Chopra recommends journaling when you first wake up, or right before you go to sleep. He recommends journaling right before you meditate. Something I am trying to incorporate into my daily schedule is "quiet time" that is just for me. Meaning, for 10 minutes before I really start my day I want to sit in my comfortable chair in my bedroom and either read an enjoyable book, journal in my Gratitude Journal, write out a card to a close friend I haven't seen in a while (J.B.R I think you know I'm thinking of you), or something else geared towards grounding myself and setting myself up for a good, productive, positive day. Shout out to Kayse Pratt who talks a lot about her "quiet time" and how it sets her up for a great day; read more about it here.
I guess to end this long and quite rambling blog post I should make a gratitude list right here and right now, so here goes:
I wish you and whoever you are celebrating with tomorrow a very happy, healthy, and thankful Thanksgiving.