Years ago, when my life was in turmoil, a good friend advised me to write down at least three things I was thankful for, every day.
I was puzzled. How could this simple act dent the mountain of problems overwhelming me? And I admit I viewed this suggestion as yet another onerous chore ~ could she not she see that my plate was overloaded with much more urgent matters? That I couldn’t spare the time or the energy to stop worrying and think of fluffy pink clouds, even for a couple of minutes.
But she was insistent.
‘If you have clothes on your back, food on your table and a roof over your head, you are richer than two thirds of the World’s population,’ she pointed out, ‘there’s your first three ‘gratitudes’, right there. Just give it a go ~ if I’m wrong, you can always stop.’
I was sceptical ~ but had nothing to lose and love hand~writing. So I purchased a fancy little note~book, picked up a purple pen and made a start. Even though I didn’t understand why ~ sometimes all you can do is put one foot in front of the other.
At first, when life looked bleak, I struggled. I couldn’t keep repeating the same things every day and my mind was filled with ‘yes…..buts.’ I resented being hauled out of my ~ strangely comforting ~ misery and forced to count my blessings, particularly on ‘bad’ days. When I complained, my friend told me that these were the times when I most needed to shift my focus. So I plodded on, being grateful for the tiniest improvement in my situation.
And my friend was right. I gradually began to feel more hopeful. Then came the day when jotted down seventeen different things and felt genuine happiness bubbling up inside me ~ despite the issues I still had to deal with.
It worked for me ~ so well that I’ve fallen out of the habit. I verbally celebrate my good fortune all the time: commenting on the magnificence of nature, thanking others for ‘being there’ and knowing that my life is enriched with assets far more valuable than money. I sometimes include these in my ‘morning pages’ but I no longer keep a separate journal ~ believing that I’m consciously practicing gratitude already, I suppose.
Then the other day on Facebook, Joss Burnel shared this photo from ‘Women as Visionaries with Lore Raymond,’ which I reposted, too.
Image: http://www.smartliving365.com with Janice Masters.
It made me stop and think that consumed by everyday pressures, it’s all too easy to take life for granted. But how blessed would I feel if I had nothing but my wardrobe, my provisions and my house? Even then I’d be better off than most people on the planet ~ could I find comfort in that?
I’ve so much to be thankful for and I’ve decided to put it in writing again. Here’s the first entry in my new ‘gratitude list’:
* I am grateful to my friend for suggesting this in the first place, all those years ago.
* I am grateful to Joss for reminding me of it, through the inspirational message she shared.
* I am grateful to Becca for starting ‘Nurturing Thursday’, prompting me to pass on this gentle, nurturing exercise.
And I will be extremely thankful if this blog doesn’t disappear into cyber~space ~ like the last two posts I composed! 😉
Nurturing Thursday is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about it, or to find out how you can join in, press this link.
Other ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:
And…..finally….to read my earlier ‘Nurturing Thursday’ posts (all 14 of them!) please visit Wightrabbit’s Blog