Maven Matters

On Gratitude

What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realised it sooner – Colette

Don’t be Colette. Be grateful every single day. For the precious moments, small mercies and big wins. Everyday life is more glorious and the Universe is working in my favour, if only I stop to realise it. Eternally grateful! – A note to myself.

Gratitude plays a big role in my life. Discovering the power of a daily gratitude journal practice was a real turning point. I’m currently relearning this power so have been recently meditating on gratitude and why I make a conscious effort to be thankful.

My recent solo adventures in Central America and big move to London have not been all smooth sailing. I’ve had low days. I’ve been sick. I’m in the middle of the job hunt knock back and uncertainty territory. I’ve been lonely. There have also been massive highs which make it easy to be grateful. But in those low moments, spending time at night to write in my gratitude journal has the most impact. On the dark days, when I’m homesick, missing my life in New Zealand and deep in the funk, it doesn’t FEEL like I have anything at all to be thankful for. Typically this funk is accompanied by a lethargy that makes the idea of journaling before sleep seem laughable. You really expect me to expend energy when I could sleep?! And honestly, some nights, turning off the light and going to sleep has won. But on the nights when I give myself a stern word or a gentle reminder and take the time to find the positive, everything changes. I remember to see the possibility in my situation. I’m thankful for that one email from a friend among all the job ones. I feel the excitement of the Englishness of everything inspires in me. By the time I’m done with my journaling I feel renewed, my funk has receded. What has really struck me the most though, is how the following day I’ve woken up energised, positive, I’ve taken on the day with exuberance and purpose. Those are the days the recruiters call. Those are the days I tick errands off my to do lists. Those are the days I write, feel creative and the muse visits. That gives me more to be thankful for. Which gives me a richer and often longer gratitude list to journal. And creates a positive cycle. I get some momentum going. So even though my life is still all up in the air and I wanted a job, like, yesterday, gratitude is seeing me through.

This power to reset my perspective is why I write a gratitude journal. Since I discovered the practice it has kept me in a positive mindset that spills over into my entire day. It makes me more optimistic, more observant of the beauty around me. Many of my entries are about beautiful sunsets, dogs that run up for pats, the way children play. Little things that without my practice I wouldn’t take the time to notice. It makes my life richer. It reinforces what is important, when I take the time to appreciate the support of my parents, laughing until I cry with my friends. I focus on those moments and choose to seek them out more often. I understand myself better by seeing the patterns in what I appreciate. I see what I truly enjoy and love. I see what I value.

A little gratitude goes a long way.

Be wildly, obsessively, precisely grateful. #Truthbomb – Danielle La Porte

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