I have been keeping a gratitude journal for several years now. A firm believer in its benefits, I recommend it whenever I have the opportunity. Spending time each day thinking about things and people for which I am grateful, and actually writing them down, helps me remember how great my life is.
The practice is particularly helpful during hard times, and we’ve had a number of those lately. On these days, it is sometimes difficult to come up with five things to write down, but doing so shifts my focus from what is going wrong to what is going well. Again, I am reminded that even in hard times, I am fortunate.
I haven’t gotten bored with the practice of keeping a gratitude journal, but I do sometimes wonder if I’m going deep enough. This morning, I was grateful to come across an article by Master Coach Melody Wilding. In this article, Wilding gives twelves prompts to help boost a gratitude practice. They are excellent suggestions for engaging in deeper thinking about gratefulness.
For instance, number 11 asks what mistake or failure might you be grateful for. If you’re like me, you could write quite a few pages on this topic!
My first marriage ended in divorce. Going through the process of separation and divorce was difficult, My husband and I were believers in “until death do us part,” and we are both ministers. It was difficult for us to admit that we had failed at our marriage vows. Practicing gratitude helped me make peace with our decision, and become a happier person.
I have always believed that every experience in life has something to offer us if we are willing to learn from it. Even our worst lapse in judgement, or the most devastating crisis can provide something for which to be thankful.
What are you grateful for today?
*Photo taken at the Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center in Phoenix, AZ