Have you ever started a gratitude journal and then found that after a few days, or maybe even a week, you completely forgot about it? It wasn’t intentional but somehow, life got in the way, the excitement about doing it waned, or you simply didn’t feel that you had anything that you were grateful for that day.
Many times I have. I have various old gratitude journals that were started and stopped throughout my house.
This all changed on September 26, 2011.
It all began when I joined Facebook after much resistance, because I found out my high school graduating class of 1980 was going to have a 30th reunion. It appeared that Facebook was the method used for these old friends to connect and that this forum would also be the means to communicating any details about the reunion. The idea of exposing myself to the world through a public forum simply made me very uncomfortable, having been raised in a family filled with secrets and manners of decorum regarding what you shared publicly. Once I joined Facebook, I saw that one of my very dear friends from high school (Janie Simmons) had posted something about a gratitude challenge. I smiled as I thought of her and remembered our bus rides together to and from the beach, as we headed to our local high school in town. She was always one of the kindest and most thoughtful kids I knew, which made the challenge all the more appealing. I decided to take her up on it! I agreed to post my daily thoughts of gratitude on Facebook for only 30 days! I could handle that, couldn’t I?! I went from being afraid of Facebook, to thinking that posting my gratitude thoughts in a public place, such as Facebook, would hold me more accountable, and started with my first gratitude post on September 26, 2011! This began on my personal Facebook page, which I later moved to my spiritual page listed below. 1,882 days later, I have successfully posted my daily gratitude thoughts on my Facebook page – Caroline Brown – Sharing Love and Light, every day for over five years. https://www.facebook.com/sharingloveandlight/
Gratitude now begins when I first wake up. I used to wake up with quite a negative attitude almost every day, literally dreading whatever it was I was going to encounter that day. As I began to do these posts, I found that I woke up with more of an awareness of this terrible attitude and found that I seemed to feel so much better when I was actually focusing on the good in my day. Through gratitude, I began my day by taking a moment to pause and think about what I could be grateful for instead. Since I knew that I would be doing a post that night, I started to take note of various things throughout the day that I wanted to include in my evening entry. The best part is that by simply thinking about what I have to be grateful for, I shift my energy into looking for the good, even in the difficult and challenging situations. I have found that there is always something to be grateful for, no matter what. I have found the good in the bad and I discovered that by putting what I am thankful for out there every day, whether or not anyone every reads it, it held me accountable to continue posting on a regular basis. What I love the most, is that by the time I get to the evening post, I have had a day full of experiences from which to choose from. During the day, I may have focused on and been so thankful for the beautiful weather, but by the time the evening comes and I do my post, I express my gratitude for the beautiful night sky and stars. By exercising gratitude during the day, I change how I feel and find that I continue to look for more to be grateful for in the future. Gratitude has truly shifted my energy and changed my life.
I challenge you to start your own gratitude journal. Maybe it will be on Facebook. Maybe you’ll type it into your notes on your phone. Maybe you want to buy yourself a beautiful journal in which to write. No matter what you choose, take the time to see how it can change your attitude and thereby change your perspective and change your life. Instead of looking for the worst in everything, look for what you can be grateful for! Remember, when you’re in gratitude, you can’t be in fear, anger or worry. It simply won’t work!
Sharing the love and light, Caroline
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