Thursday, November 23, 2017

What I write in my gratitude journal now

Representation of a journal entry

I had lost my appreciation for life, but a new way was on it’s way.

My gratitude writing that morning started out like any other morning’s gratitude writing. I wrote down the usual: I’m grateful for the sun; I’m grateful for my loved ones; I’m grateful for the…”

And then something happened.
“Stop, stop, stop.” I said to myself as I laid down the pencil and took a deep breathe. It seemed I had finally come to the point, where I’m sure many other gratitude journalists come to, when they realize that they’re just writing out platitudes of gratitude – when they’re just spouting off the same old lines like a programmed android.

Time to become conscious again
Now, I’m not saying I was lacking feeling in the way of a robot, but I am saying that somewhere along the line I’d apparently conditioned myself to become less and less appreciative, and more and more mechanical with my entries. How I had gotten to a point of being so unconscious could have been for any number of reasons. Maybe boredom, or dare I say, a lack of gratefulness in and of itself. However, trying to figure out why it had gotten to this point was pointless. All I knew, as I stared at my notebook, was that there was a part of me that wasn’t finding it fun anymore. It was time to revitalize the spirit of thankfulness – the spirit for appreciating the life around me with some new life in me.

Aren’t you curious to know how?
If you’re curious to know how I did that, that’s good, because curiosity ended up being exactly how I did it. In essence, I had stopped myself from falling deeper into a rut of repetitiveness, which was good – step one towards a new attitude had been established. However, what was my next step? How exactly was I going to articulate appreciation, while at the same time represent that part of me that was truly appreciative for life? Well, I thought to myself, “A good rule of thumb when I’m not being my true self is to go back to, you guessed it, being me.” The me that doesn’t find looking at life boring, the me that loves to observe… That was it! I had to get curious again. I had to let go of the idea that the little things were so mundane that they weren’t worth acknowledging anymore – that they weren’t worth having an appreciation for. I had to start wanting to look at what was in front of me like a child does when they’re experiencing something for the first time with innocent eyes.

I love that!
So, I flipped open my journal and started to write down what I was looking at:
I see trees.
Trees are green.
Trees have leaves.
I see a tree leaf waving.
I love that a tree’s leaf can appear like it’s waving at me!
I love that tree leaves can wave.
Hum. Interesting.
I see the sky.
I love that the sky’s blue.
I love that a sky can be bigger than me or you.
Then, I brought my focus in closer. I looked down at my jacket that I was wearing and wrote:
I love that fleece can be fuzzy.
I love that fleece can be warm.
I love that zippers can zip.

A new rhythm – thank goodness
I paused and looked at the new pattern that was emerging. It appeared that, “I love that,” was consistently opening the sentence - so I embraced it. I would start a sentence with it, and as soon as I did the rest of the sentence just seemed to complete itself. As each new idea appeared, I would just let it pour out of me. Even if it was a repeating idea I wrote it down – I didn’t block it. At one point it was coming so fast that my hand couldn’t keep up, so I grabbed my computer and just let it roll... Before I knew it, my new rhythm was starting to rhyme.

Some initial verses that ended up together.
I love that words can be kind,
I love that hair can curl,
I love that zippers can zip,
I love that raspberries can swirl.

I love that glass can be clear,
I love that printers can print,
I love that pencils can get sharp,
I love that pepper can be with mint.

And the rest is history as they say. I’ve expressed so much life now that I could, and have, put them in posters. Want to READ ALL THE VERSES that made up one of those posters? If not and you’re still here, then all I’ll say at this point is that I hope that the little I’ve shown above was enough for you to realize that there are many different ways to be grateful - this one just happens to move me.