This is my word for the year. Gratitude. Since Jan. 1, 2012 I have spent a lot of time with this word. To me gratitude means being thankful for what I already have been given. Another word that pops up when I reflect on gratitude is awareness. In order to be thankful for what I have I need to be aware. Also in order to be thankful for new things that come into my life, I need to be aware.
So I tackled this word by starting a gratitude journal. I was given a regular calendar with a page a day available for appointments (I guess someone thought I wasn’t very organized!) so I decided to use it instead as my journal. Each day when I eat my breakfast (I find it better to do it at the beginning of the day because it also helps to put me in a positive space for the day) I challenge myself to come up with several new things I am grateful for.
Here is a cool example of a journal that I think I will make mine look like next year (or something more creative than dayminder calendar 2012):
When I started this journal I was in great space. Things were going wonderful and I was really thinking that this journal would be pretty easy. But boy was I wrong! Life began to take a turn and became challenging at almost every corner I turned. I had trouble some mornings thinking about anything to be thankful for. But I persisted! I found that if I started my morning just remembering the little things like breathing, waking up in the morning, and the reason I was waking up, I had a job, it kept me going.
Now I find myself 10 months into this journey with things in my life having changed pretty dramatically in some areas and in others they have gotten back to some normality and I am grateful for it all. I still journal every morning about the things I am grateful for and I still come up with new things.
But really the biggest thing this process has done is helped me to stay focused in my day, keep me in a positive mental attitude and taught me that by being grateful I can change my mood when I am feeling down.