Most of my life, I have been an avid journal keeper. Starting with the magic and fun of locked diaries when a little girl; to journals chronicling my life in my 20s and 30s; eventually graduating to Julia Cameron’s suggested stream-of-conscious journaling later on, from her great book The Artist’s Way, I have done it all.
Then, about 10 years ago, through a spiritual mentor of mine, I was introduced to the path of gratitude! She recommended to a group of us that we begin recording 5 things we are grateful for every day for 40 days in a journal, to change our habit, which would bring about more joy and peace and satisfaction in our lives. The bright idea she proposed was that with focus on what is right in our lives, instead of lamenting what is wrong, we would invite in more positivity!
This practice really worked for me! I was hooked, and I keep a Gratitude Journal to this day.
As I became more and more grateful, and subsequently happier with my life, I felt inspired to share this potent practice with others – to help bring more gratitude into more people’s lives, and to help change the world in a beneficial way.
Since I am a book designer by profession, the idea of creating a beautiful Gratitude Journal was natural. I asked my artist partner, Tara Thelen, if she would be willing to contribute her gorgeous watercolors to the proposed Journal, and she said an enthusiastic yes! I then looked through my wide variety of thoughts of thanksgiving, and gathered the best of the best to inspire the readers on alternate pages, and interspersed lined pages for the reader to write in their own “gratitudes.” Voila! The Grace of Gratitude Journal was birthed! We pitched it to a few publishing companies, such as Hay House, and they politely turned us down. So, the Journal was in gestation for a few years.
Then, I shared it with a friend, who loved it and believed in it and us, and funded half of the publishing costs, so that we could get it printed! I remember very well the awe and thrill and wonder I felt holding the printed version in my hands!
What I am most grateful for now is the people who have shared how much it has helped them in their lives. I love that I have paid it forward, that our Journal is so unique, and that more and more people are finding it and cherishing it and most importantly, using it. It has also been used in large healing workshops, gifted to the participants by the facilitators, to my delight.
Being grateful for what one has is such a transformative practice. The idea is simple but it takes dedication to make it work in our lives. The rewards of being appreciative ripple out, like ripples in a pond, touching others too.
It makes me proud to be part of a grand Gratitude movement in this world, joining others who are gratitude proponents, such as Deepak Chropa, Neale Donald Walsch, Brené Brown, Oprah and many other spiritual leaders. How good is that?!
And just like a daily gratitude App you might have on your phone, I also offer Daily Gratitude Thoughts to an email list, and have been doing so for several years. If you would like to receive my free daily “gratitudes,” you can sign up at the home page of www.graceofgratitude.com.