Want to change your life? Keep a GRATITUDE JOURNAL
I mentioned the other day that gratitude will open up the world to you. In my humble opinion, gratitude is the most powerful of all the emotions – even greater than love. Gratitude is so immensely powerful because it has the ability to change our state, pulling us out of darkness, grouchiness, lack, illness, self-doubt, and all the other lower emotions that David R. Hawkins describes in his compelling book, Power vs. Force. It can be challenging to find love when you’re in those places, but it’s almost impossible to look around the world and not find something for which to be grateful.
Of course, I remember a time I tried to encourage a coworker who was in a funk. This was a very pretty girl who was in a relationship with a wealthy man who catered to her every need. She only worked to have something to fill her days; it was not a necessity in the least, as it was for most of the rest of us. This is not to say that well-off people don’t get down, but this case seemed extreme to me. I don’t recall what specifically was wrong, just that she was “depressed.” I suggested that she list just FIVE things for which she was grateful, and she told me, after a halfhearted attempt, “I can’t think of anything.”
The fact that we live in the United States? Beautiful weather? Good friends? Your storage unit filled floor to ceiling with shoes you never wear? “Oh, yeah, I guess I do have a few things to be grateful for.” It seemed a challenging and painful exercise for her, but eventually she was able to write down seven or eight things and ultimately pulled out of her down mood.
The thing that truly empowers gratitude is the emotion behind it. Don’t slump over and whisper, “I’m so grateful.” Stand up and shout it from the highest rooftop. And if you’re not grateful yet, act as if you are.
In offering gratitude for what you already have, you open the door for so much more to come in. And as my coach has reminded me often lately, give thanks for the things that you are still working on manifesting as if they already exist. I find this particularly helpful when my gremlin is grumbling … about long lines at the supermarket, worry about when my husband will go back to work, or the human fear that strikes when I find I’m not the only editor at a networking event. Instead of giving in to the frustration or fear, I look for the thing to be grateful for. Thank you that I have money to buy nutritious food to nourish my body. Thank you for John’s completing his apprenticeship, so that when he goes back to work, it will be at the higher journeyman rate. Thank you that there are enough writers in the world to keep all of us editors very busy.
A gratitude journal is a fantastic way to stay connected to gratitude on a daily basis. You can purchase something like Elizabeth Hartigan’s What Are You Grateful for Today? workbook or you can just use a leftover spiral notebook from one of your kids. I will say, however, that writing in a book you love can certainly add to the joy and emotion that power the practice of gratitude journaling. My personal habit is to write every (or almost every) night just before bed. I date and number my entries, and I go till I can’t think of the next one. My longest list is about 40 items; the shortest ran to just a dozen.
There’s no right or wrong way to express or journal your gratitude — the most important thing is simply that you do it.
If you want to learn more about the powerful role gratitude plays in manifesting the outcomes you seek, watch this short video and read almost anything John Dimartini has written on the subject of gratitude. Whether it’s completing your book, more sales, speaking opportunities, or any other success, giving gratitude for what you already have and for positive outcomes as yet unrealized is almost guaranteed to get you there faster.
Wishing you a blessed, bountiful harvest fest!
We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.
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