Although little more than a commemoration of an historical event, the Day was not really an exercise in gratitude for me. This came years later with the acquisition of Simple Abundance A Daybook of Comfort and Joy.
After one of our global moves, some two decades ago, a culture shock in teaching awaited me and as a mother of two young girls, I put myself last in the line of caring. As you do. I needed to nurture myself and did so by starting firstly, a Gratitude Journal.
Nightly, I wrote 5 things for which I was grateful. Every new day, I was alert with awareness welcoming in anything and everything, no matter how mundane, that gave me pause or an "awe" moment. Not always did I recapture at bedtime the top 5 moments. Some days I was hard pressed to find even one. But it was enough to live each day being hopeful.
The second journal I commenced then was an Illustrated Discovery one. It was my scrapbook before scrapbooking became a new thing to do, of all things beautiful that touched my soul. In it I pasted images, scenes, quotations -- so when I flipped through its beauty laden pages it was like "hyacinths for the soul."
Some two decades later, I find myself on another healing journey, this time from anxiety. I still have my Illustrated Discovery Journal to gaze through all the beauty I recorded so long ago. Yet, now, it is the daily Gratitude that speaks more to my soul. I awake every new morning reciting mentally a list of things for which I am thankful. This list started off as meagre and almost forced, until today the thankfulness just flows. I take nothing for granted. I stop to smell the roses, or more the eucalypts here in Oz. I breathe in the fresh air of the bush. Listen to the varied songs of the birds. Gaze out at the vastness of water that surrounds me or the night time sky. Sit quietly with our cat snuggled on my lap. Smile. Greet my neighbour. Invite silence and being.
I end the day similarly by listing the things great and small for which I am grateful.
Gratitude is everywhere now. I happen upon articles on gratitude.
I attract books on gratitude. Rhonda Byrne suggests to "use gratitude until it becomes your way of life."
Gratitude is there in my daily meditation practice.
The Universe is forever sending me reminders to be grateful. I oblige.
It is this simple exercise that almost exclusively got me out of my fatalistic thinking with which anxiety plagued me this year.
Happy Thanksgiving Day.
Published By: Valdone's Leaf