Gratitude Journaling

I got Simple Abundance from the library and enjoyed it immensely. In it Sarah Ban Breathnach discusses daily all the things that make ours an abundant life. You can read and hear some excerpts here.

One of the things that Sara is big on is a gratitude journal which makes sense as SA (Simple Abundance as it is called by its fans) is a women’s spiritual journal. Well at least it started like that, but it seems that Time Warner, the publisher, always had ideas that this was something that could be something much much more. {And boy were they right.}

So what for those who haven’t already read it, is SA like? Well to sum it up simply, it a is sort of like a daily sketchbook, where instead of pictures, you communicate with your soul and put the positive things in your life into it.

When negative things, as surely they do, the Gratitude journals is supposed to force you to think how this can be positive. Here’s an extraordinary example.

An online friend whose daughter nearly died from a blood transfusion said that she was “grateful” because it had made her daughter more aware of God’s presence in her life as previously she had been “too selfish” and caught up “in trivia”. Now if this isn’t a case of sincere and lasting Gratitude, I am not sure what is, but I was totally impressed  (P.S. 4 months later, a week before Palm Sunday, her daughter was out of the hospital and back home, obviously her mother’s acknowledgement of God’s gift helped her daughter get back on the right track.  Just like Jacob in Genesis who was given a limp after his encounter with Him, to remind him of the important things.

Sarah Ban Breathnach besides a book, has a workbook, called the Simple Abundance Companion, that I got from the library but I haven’t looked at it yet but perhaps I should as it is designed with the idea that the 12 chapters span a year. It’s not really a workbook but one that is supposed to me make you savor & ponder as you explore your world.  But the real key is a daily Gratitude Journal.  I gave them away last Christmas, one a manly leather one to my brother in law; another fun and brightly coloured one to my mother in law and another lovely and plain to my sister.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” –Melody Beattie

Giacomo Puccini
Giacomo Puccini

I use a small daily Moleskine, one of those super small ones.  I may write things like today, It’s my husband’s birthday!  …We listened to WVIA and Puccini and Aida and I surprisingly liked it….Snowed a lot, so I shoveled for DH so he would not have to when he came home.  He was thankful….and so one. And sometimes I send cards to those I met over the year at Christmas to thank them for their conversation — I don’t care if I get one in return, that wasn’t the point, I thanked them for their help whether they remember it or not…and so on.

So I have found that gratitude is important as iit makes for a happier life. Simplicity, order, harmony, beauty, and joy–all the other principles that can transform your life will not blossom and flourish without gratitude. Why? Because you simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you have set in motion an ancient spiritual law; the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given to you.

A French proverb reminds us that “Gratitude is the heart’s memory.”  Sweet isn’t that? I should ask my sister how that would read….

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