Today I am grateful I was taught how to read and write at a young age. I am also grateful for coffee enjoyed in a cup given to me as a gift from a good friend.
NINE is fitting today as this blog post is post number nine hundred. What a gift this blogging journey and habitual practice have been for me. I could not have imagined at the outset, in late March 2012, that I would be here at post #900, and be here at a more humble and calm place.
In keeping with today's theme, here are nine things I have learned from
habitually blogging about gratitude:
1.Honoring your passion is a gift you give yourself. I used to get everything else done and then pick up my writing, other than brief journaling I did daily. That meant that most days I didn't get to write much. I start my day with this blog and I am a more content person for it.
2. Expectations and humility go together. Early on, my expectations had me hoping for more page views, more followers, more comments. That didn't materialize in the way I thought it would, and I learned humility. I also learned that whether or not this blog helps or reaches anyone else, it is sure helping me. Today, I have a number of regular readers (THANK YOU!), some I know personally and some I don't. I continue to be guided by this thought: "Keep doing what you are doing." It's that simple.
3. When I asked my husband if he felt my blogging had helped me he said "yes." When I asked him "How?" his response was "You are calmer." Gratitude practice is mindfulness practice. Being mindful and present allows the calmness to also be present. Not all the time, but more than before. What a gift!
4. Gratitude is always possible. On good days, the list just flows. On tough days, I can still find several reasons to be grateful. I am here, breathing air and living life. That's a heck of a start to any list.
5. As calmness grows, so does a sense of worthiness. From someone who hated herself well into adulthood, I never felt worthy. I usually felt less than, not enough. When I focused my thoughts and actions on this self-pity, it just perpetuated itself. One of THE most valuable lessons I have learned about gratitude practice is that I can't feel sorry for myself and grateful at the same time. When I focus on the many gifts in my life, human and other, I begin to feel more worthy and less of a sham as a worthwhile person.
6. I haven't come close to running out of topics to blog about. Part of the joy in being a writer is having ideas come to you when they will. I always have a notebook in my purse and available at home. Ideas come through all avenues: a song on the radio, something someone else says or does, a pause, out on a run, in the early morning quiet. It starts with an open mind and heart.
7. I am glad to see the growing body of scientific evidence that shows the effectiveness and benefits of gratitude practice. I am living proof. My experiment has given very clear results and they are statistically significant. I am healthier, happier, more calm, more energized, less fearful. And that is just a start. It began with my first gratitude journal nearly 20 years ago, but this blog really ramped up the benefits. Savor life and happiness follows.
8. As Brother David Steindl-Rast speaks and writes about-gratefulness leads to the great fullness of life.And as Melody Beattie says "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more." Indeed it does!
9. I can't give away something I don't have. I have gratitude and appreciation for so much-from small joys and seemingly inconsequential things, to the often taken for granted, to the bigger gifts. I have much to give and this blog is a great way for me to share. Gratitude shared is gratitude multiplied.
Thank you for reading my words and considering what gratefulness means to you.