This morning I wrote the last entry in the gratitude journal I have been using for about 15 months. It is filled up now, front to back, with a couple daily gratitudes, a daily prayer to my Higher Power asking for help, and with several prayer intentions for others to wrap up each entry. I have a new journal ready to start fresh tomorrow.
Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the best and healthiest habits I have. I have no intention of stopping. Do I wake up each day excited to write in it? Not every day. But I do it anyway. Just like running and other exercise. Some days I am motivated, and on other days a little reluctant.
I know this to be true though--about both my gratitude journaling and my running--I always feel better when I do them. It is easier to maintain a habit when good results are pretty much guaranteed.
And for those days when I feel little gratitude, I still take the action and it helps. The downward spiral is halted, or at least slowed. That makes all the difference.
The beauty is that those downward spirals happen less and less, and are shorter and shorter. It works. It really does. And if you remain a scoffer, please know that this isn't forced gratitude, it is simply the gentle practice of pausing and looking for the gifts in life in this moment.
Today's "Word for the Day" at gratefulness.org is a fitting way to close this post.
"The most fortunate are those who have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy."
I feel most fortunate to have been led to seeking gratitude by wise souls and that the practice quickly proved itself beneficial. So I continue.