I’ve been feeling a bit disconnected lately. I guess it’s not surprising. I just moved to a new home, my stuff is still in random piles and boxes, and I’ve yet to settle back into any sort of daily routine. One habit I’ve been missing most is journaling.
Over the past few years my journal has become one of my greatest tools for staying connected with myself and what’s going on around me. Normally I write a few stream of consciousness pages each morning, but I’ve only journaled a few times in the past month.
I miss my morning pages and how much they help me identify and process what’s going on in my head and my heart. I hadn’t realized, however, how much the last three lines of each journal entry anchor me in my day-to-day life.
No matter what I’ve been writing about, the final three lines of the last page are reserved for three tiny lists.
The first line is a list of gratitude. I think back over the previous day and acknowledge the things I feel grateful for—both the momentous and the mundane. I’m quick to get caught up in everything that’s wrong or stressful, but gratitude isn’t just for when everything is amazing. Seeking gratitude helps me see a fuller picture and reminds me to pay attention to the moments I don’t want to miss.
The second line is a list of evidence that I am loved. Deep down there are parts of me that question whether I’m actually lovable. I can get so distracted trying to assess whether or not people like me that I miss the ways I’m shown love. Again, there are occasionally grand gestures, but most days it’s the little things—an email from a friend, my husband making breakfast, an acquaintance asking how I’m doing. I need this daily reminder to stop questioning whether I’m worthy of love and start noticing the love in my life.
The third line lists evidence that I’m good enough. I almost never accomplish as much as I want to in a day. When I look around I see so many people who appear to be doing more and doing better. It’s easy to start believing I’ll never do enough or be enough. Recording what I did accomplish, when I did act in alignment with my values, and where I did show up as who I want to be turns my attention from all the ways I think I fall short and reminds me of who I am and what I am doing. Acknowledging the little ways I’m doing well gives me a lot more momentum than criticizing myself for not being better.
Each list is only one line in my journal. I intentionally keep them small. There’s no pressure to compete with the day before. They take only a moment to complete. Every morning these three little lines pull my thoughts from complaints, fear, and criticism and direct them toward gratitude, love, and worthiness.
As much as unpacking boxes and arranging cabinets, returning to my daily practice of journaling and tiny lists will help me reconnect with myself and the world.
I’d love to know…do you journal? What practices anchor your day? What happens when you let them slip by the wayside? What are you grateful for? How are you loved? What can you call good enough?
Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S. Many families will gather around tables heaped with turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and cranberries and pie and…
While conversations will likely range from merry and loving to grief-filled and nostalgic to heated and divisive, one of the most common questions asked today is what are you thankful for?
On this day dedicated to thankfulness, I’d like to leave you with some resources for making gratitude more a part of your everyday life.
What are you grateful for seems like a simple question, but it can be hard to answer. We struggle to get past the obvious answers of what we’re supposed to appreciate. Gratitude seems a lot to ask when life feels bleak. Sometimes we need to ask a slightly different question. My mind started buzzing with possibilities as I read through Lori’s 50 questions that will help you feel grateful and good about life .
There are plenty of people who recommend keeping a gratitude journal, but it’s not effective if we just go through the motions. There are times when my list starts looking the same day after day. Claire shows some great ways to dig deeper into our gratitude practice while writing about why keeping a gratitude list will change your life .
We’re not all the same. For some people keeping a gratitude journal is amazing, but that doesn’t mean it’s everyone’s thing. Fortunately journaling isn’t the only way to practice gratitude. Maybe one of Sarah’s ideas for 11 ways to practice gratitude without a gratitude journal is a better fit for you.
The idea of gratitude can come with a lot of baggage. How many times have you been told you should be grateful or prompted to say thank you for something you didn’t want? This sense of obligation can crowd out genuine feelings of gratitude. How do we get them back? Hannah shows us a place to start re-experiencing gratitude (aka really feeling the love) .
How do we stay grateful for what we have while working toward what we want? You may not be up for an actual workout after all that turkey and pie, but joining Jessica for a 1 mile walk ‘n talk about gratitude and goals might be just the thing to get you moving.
I love sharing resources with you. Each week I email a little note to my readers along with a list of links I’ve learned from lately. Sign up here and I’ll also send you two free guides. Happy Thanksgiving!