Gratitude is a powerful thing. Many years ago, on my journey of self-discovery and healing, I discovered the power of gratitude. In the late 90’s, I was going through a bit of a depression, so my therapist suggested I start a gratitude journal. She said, “Every night before you go to bed, write down 5 things you are grateful for”. Even though in my head I was thinking, what is there to be grateful for, I agreed to give it a try.
After my appointment, I went straight to my nearest bookstore and purchased a pretty gratitude journal, you know, the kind with a silky ribbon inside to mark what page you’re on. It was called, “Gratitude, A Record of Blessings”. Ah, what a title! Throughout the book it had inspirational quotes like, “There shall be eternal summer in a grateful heart”. Each page had lines across it and at the top said, Today, I give thanks for:
The day I bought the journal, I even stopped at the arts and crafts store and picked up some pretty colored pens. I chose my favorite color blue to mark my name in the front with the date, February ’99. I began to write. I used different colored inks, sometimes drawing little pictures, writing with a poetic flare, or just sticking to the basics. Sometimes I would write tons of things down and other times, I’d stick to a simple five. I wasn’t always easy. On really low days I had to really dig. However, I could always find something. Even if it was just that I was breathing or my cat came to sit with me, there was something.
I can’t remember how long it took, but it didn’t seem long before my depression had lifted. I was experiencing that power of gratitude. It lifts you up and reminds you that even if you feel like crap, you can always find a few things to be grateful for and that feels so good. Doing this practice has been huge for me. In fact I have gratitude for gratitude! From doing this small exercise I learned to notice and appreciate the things I am grateful for, big or small. Sometimes I don’t write them in my journal, but I go back to it time and time again. It just makes such a difference in how I feel!
To honor the gift of gratitude, I will be creating a gratitude tree for the next, Creative Minds, workshop! I will give a little sneak peek, but I want to save the bulk for our group session!
I hope this blog will inspire you to stop and notice what you are grateful for today. Even if you don’t start a ritual of writing them down, just noticing and giving a little nod, it is immensely beneficial.
Many blessings and creative expressions!
P.S. My next creative expression workshop will be at Merlin’s coffee on September 22 at 6 PM. Please check out my Facebook page! Go to Events, to RSVP!
Below is a picture of a butterfly that came and sat on my shoulder. I was having a particularly bad day, too. Snapped me right out of it! Gratitude!