Years ago I gave my mom a birthday present she’ll never forget. A Gratitude Journal. She says it’s her favorite gift she’s ever received from me. She was turning 65. I bought a blank book, and numbered the pages 1-65. On each page, I thanked her for ways she’d impacted my life.
At first, I thought, “How am I possibly going to think of that many things?” Once I got started, gratefulness gushed out. I brainstormed, and remembered dozens of times she’d supported, loved, and cared for me.
“Thank you for making me go to church when I was little. Faith is now a huge part of my life.”
“Thank you for taking me to the beach every Tuesday in the summer.”
“Thank you for going on walks with me. And when we had nothing to say and I thought it was an awkward silence, you told me that when you love someone, you don’t always need to talk.”
Here are some of the exercises from Week 5:
- Keep a journal handy to write details of something kind you’d like to remember
- Find 5 kind things about your day
- Focus on the things you have that money can’t buy
- Say a few words of thanks for the kindness you noticed in your day
- Let thoughts of today’s kindness be the last place your mind goes as you go to bed
- Extend the gratitude by expressing it to the people that showed you kindness
I often do several of these on a daily basis. If I’ve had a good day, it’s easy to think of good and kind things that happened. But even if my day didn’t go so well, I still try to focus on the positive. There’s always something.
I make a point to enjoy the little pleasures in life — hearing birds chirp outside my window, picking tomatoes from my garden, or laughing with my daughters.
Kindness and gratitude is all around. It’s up to us to take notice.
First image courtesy of here
Second image courtesy of here