My aunt is one of my favorite people to vent to. She allows me to complain, comforts me, but also reminds me that things can be a lot worse. She would say, “Manta, The universe is trying to teach you something. Be grateful and listen to it.” Gratitude. I think about that a lot lately. Complaining is a hard habit to kick. I often get caught up with things not going as planned. As a result, I kinda panic and let it overshadow the good things that’s happening in my life.
But I am on the continuous journey towards growing, healing and forgiving;for myself and for others. There are things I need to move on from. There are habits I need to let go of. Seriously, You never really notice how much damage is done until it’s time to unpack all of it. Just the other night, I saw that famous Mary Oliver quote on twitter. You know the one -“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” It really stuck with me. I know it’s a cliche saying, but hindsight is truly 20/20. All of my “setbacks” has taught me a lot about myself. I can honestly say I am grateful for the way that things happen. (even if I don’t fully understand in the moment.)
One thing that helped me get to this place is my journaling habits. On a whim, I purchased The Five Minute Journal. I’m not even sure how I found it exactly. I was at work browsing LifeHacker and after a couple clicks, I landed on the website and placed the order. This journal focuses on shifting your attention to positivity and forces you to short circuit negative thoughts. Every morning you have to finish the statement “I am grateful for____.” You also have to list three things that would make the day great and write a daily affirmation. At night you complete the entry by naming three amazing things that happened and how you could’ve made the day better.
This little ol journal has me counting my blessings. I wake up ready to find three things to be grateful for. During my day, I focus on great things that happen so I can add that to my night entry. It’s not a cure all. There are days where things go haywire and it’s out of my control. But journaling allows me be positive and to see what I can do.
Today I am grateful for cuddles with cat. I am grateful for phone calls from friends checking on me. I am grateful for the sunshine shine that warms my skin (and spirit) alike. These are small joys but joys nonetheless.
Do you actively practice gratitude? What little joys are you grateful for?