The struggle ends when the gratitude begins. ~ Neale Walsch
Keeping a gratitude journal (Joy Journal, Happiness Book, Whatever YOU wish to call it) can stop the struggle and the pattern of negative thinking that can create even more stress in our lives. Gratitude can stop the negative thinking and greatly lessen the impact of stress. In forming our gratitude lists, we are essentially cultivating and retraining our thoughts to be positive. We are stopping ourselves to see the amazing things happening around us instead of dwelling on the everyday stresses, the chaos, the grief. And there really are AMAZING things happening despite all of those things. And if we focus, truly focus, on looking for these things- we will begin to notice more and more and our grateful hearts will swell with goodness - with GOD. And while stress and grief will still occur, we will not struggle as before as it will not drag us down into nothingness- for we will keep on focus on what is good. And we will look to God. And we will conquer all.
Occasionally, I'll share a few tips with you to help you keep motivated in keeping your journal and making sure it stays a positive experience for you to help focus on thanksgiving rather than the complaining so many of us in today's society takes part in.
Today's Tip: Be CONSISITENT. Change takes intention and formation of habit. Write in your journal EVERY DAY. Some journal keepers suggest doing it at the same time every day. I always start adding to mine at the beginning of the day at the same time I do my bible reading (another new habit I hope to keep up with) as that is when I am already focused on positive thinking and seeking God in all things. That's what works for me, and I keep it handy on the kitchen counter through the day to add as I go. But you do what works for YOU. Maybe it's the beginning of the day. Maybe at a coffee break. Perhaps at the end of the day when the kids are in bed (something to add to the list...). Find a time, and make it happen! Use the gratitude challenge to end the struggle. Remember, change takes intention!
Pascha - Pascha is the feast of the resurrection of the Lord as celebrated by Orthodox Christians... the ultimate celebration for the greatest reason. My favorite verse from the service "Come receive the light from the light, that will never be overtaken by night, and glorify Christ who is risen from the dead" will be in my head for weeks to come! Christ is Risen!
My six-year-old spotting a rose-breasted grosbeak on our deck! I'm not sure what part I'm most grateful for... seeing this beautiful bird for the first time ever, or the fact is was my six-year-old that spotted it- KNEW what it was- and not from me teaching him....just from all the time he spends looking at the bird book....and yes, he obviously read that name and remembered it ALL ON HIS OWN... wow.
erasers - because we don't need to be perfect; we just need to keep trying and give glory to God for second chances!
Sharing gratitude with others.
The sound of my husband's hum... happiness, contentment, love.
What's On Your Gratitude List This Week?