Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Part of the wellness package I received for participating in the 28 day Walkabout included Dr. Weil's book, Spontaneous Happiness. One section of the book in particular caught my attention. In his chapter on emotional well-being, Weil speaks about the benefits of feeling and expressing gratitude. One concrete way we can start doing this more is by keeping a gratitude journal.

On his website, Dr. Weil refers to author G.K. Chesterton, who wrote: You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.

Then Weil goes on to remark, "I suspect Chesterton didn't do this automatically. He knew that, like forgiveness, gratitude can and should be cultivated through diligent practice."

What a concept! We can truly transform the way we perceive life through this daily practice.

On that note, a few of the things I'm grateful for today:

*Hundreds of muscles, joints and ligaments -- so I can skip, walk, bike (and crawl, if need be).
*My husband -- who is always supportive of my writing and volunteer time!
*Danielle, David & Emily, Anna -- you give me much joy.
*Poetry -- it speaks to feelings deeper than words.
*Green leaves and buds, the flowers just beginning to bloom here in the NW -- nature's art.
*God's love -- always startling & fresh.
*Strong black tea with milk -- mmmm.

What have you found to be grateful for today?


Betsy said...

Love it! :-) Today I'm grateful that Dibbes' back problem seems to be something treatable. (knock on wood.) Am grateful that spring is finally here, that Michiel will be coming home tomorrow and that the kids will be off on a much-needed vacation this week!

Have you ever heard of Just One Thing? It's got a lot of great exercises in there for recognizing gratitude and getting more out of life. (and one does not have to be Buddhist in order to appreciate it...) there are so many interesting exercises in there, and some have been very profound for me...

Laurie Cutter said...

Thanks Betsy, I'll check out the site! If you like it, I have a hunch that I will too.

Ha ha, I'm still laughing about the fly in the Cabernet!

Laurie Cutter said...

Now I see Just One Thing is a book. Since I'm headed to the library right now, will try and find it on the shelves. Any more good book tips? Send them my way!

Betsy said...

Have you ever read "The Book Thief"? It's wonderful. I read that one a while ago and it really stuck with me. Another one I really enjoyed was "The Confessions of Max Tivoli". Oh, and "Marina", which I liked at LEAST as much as "Shadow of the Wind"!

Have been really uninspired lately in the book department, though. (The ones I mentioned weren't anything I've read very recently.) Do you have any good tips for me?

Betsy said...

Wait-- I think I should mention that Marina is really creepy. And I don't usually go for the creepy / horror genre, but it's just so incredibly well-written that it sucks you right in-- I love the way he develops his characters and the stories he interweaves together! (If you liked Shadow of the Wind you'll like Marina as well.)

Laurie Cutter said...

I started "The Book Thief," and then we moved from Germany--will have to dig it out of whatever box it's still in!

In the last year I've read more young adult novels and really liked "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson. Also, I'm currently reading Frederick Buechner's "Secrets in the Dark." He's one of my favorite authors. A friend in my writing group gave me "Mukiwa" by Peter Godwin, a memoir on growing up in Rhodesia, which looks good. For some reason, I've been into nonfiction and poetry lately!

Betsy said...

I hadn't heard of any of these but will definitely look them up. I've been reading more non-fiction lately but I don't think I'll ever fully shake off my fiction addiction! :-)