An ongoing theme of my newsletters has been about being present to what is right in the world. That sounds rather philanthropic and is typical of a dragon. But the key aspect is that it starts with what is right in your world. After all, it is human to ask, ‘what’s in it for me?’ That, for the most part, is what drives us. Do you agree?
Your world is my world. I sincerely believe in the concept that we are all one. So, there is an ulterior motive in my asking clients to keep a gratitude journal.
I say and believe that abundance attracts abundance, positive energy attracts positive energy, and what you put into the world comes back to you strengthened. But, a gratitude journal isn’t about receiving. It’s about gifting–give without expectation. Love delights in giving attention rather than attracting attention.
Gratitude—So, how does this translate when it’s receiving generosity or love — be thankful or appreciative. Every day acknowledge how blessed you are. Even during those times when the only thing you can be thankful for is knowing the Lord won’t ask you to handle more than you can take. We’ve all had those days, haven’t we?
My original request was before going to bed to write down at least one expression of gratitude. This could be something that someone else said or did or something you said or did. You asked for a bit of clarification, so here it is.
- Each day keep your eyes and ears open for acts or words of kindness. If someone did or said something nice to you, acknowledge the positive energy. If possible, do or say something nice back.
- Pay it forward (see the movie by the same name). What is pay it forward? Do or say something nice to someone else—keep the ripple effect going. The more positive energy we put out—the more of it there is in the world.
- In the evening make a note of these events. What more pleasant way to drift off to sleep than thinking of the things for which we are thankful.
Following are some examples from a gratitude list I made for my husband several years ago. We’re celebrating 25 years of marriage. Remember – It’s never too soon to say these things, but there may come a time when it is too late.
I’m grateful that you provide a home that encourages faith and religious freedom.
I’m grateful for your patience and have learned from you.
I’m grateful that you love our family and want the best for us.
I’m grateful for your friendship, imagination, and humor.
I’m grateful that you value my independence and encourage my growth.
I’m grateful for you dear husband.
My husband keeps his list in the medicine cabinet and sees it every day. Think of what this could mean to him on a morning when it’s difficult to get up and out the door. Would a reminder of how much you’re appreciated help? Don’t we all need a boost from time to time? Create your list whether it’s for a family member, friend, mentor, or even yourself. Acknowledge what you like about yourself and others!
Some of you may feel that starting each sentence with “I’m grateful,” is a bit much. Feel free to find your own style. For me the more I said I was grateful, the more the wording and intention was present for me. This became a gift for me too. However, one of the attributes of a good teacher is for their students to grow beyond them. So… succeed and share.
Yes, share what you’re grateful for by sending me an email. We’ll start a web gratitude journal. As Mother Theresa said, “let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” And, as my Mother said, “leave a place better than you entered it.” Let’s change the world together! Be defined by your generosity. Be the one who says positive things about others. Be happy for others in their good fortune.
Remember – this is great information, but it doesn’t mean anything unless you put it into action. Make sure your caring includes doing. It takes a little time, but it’s worth the investment!