Last year, I had an opportunity to take a creative writing class in which by the end of the semester, the instructor turned out to be my mentor. She helped me transform into what I hope is an ambassador of positivity that I am today. One of the exercises we did in class was for 14 days to write ten things per day that we were grateful for in our life. At the end of the 14 days,the class was instructed to write about our experience of doing the gratitude journal. Mind you , this was not a paper about what we were grateful for, rather the experience. Long story short, days 1-3 were filled with tangible items. However; something clicked within me that made me start noticing things beyond my phone, car, shoes, food etc that contribute to my being. Things that we don’t perhaps notice and take for granted, yet we should acknowledge. The paragraph below is an excerpt from my paper; a summation of the light bulb radiating that was the end result of this exercise.
As the days progressed to day four to day eight to day ten and finally fourteen, it seemed as if I was beginning to see things in my daily life as well as in some reflective moments of the past in a much more positive light than I have in any other time in my life. I found that my gratitude for things was beyond tangible and visible things. Once the list of those items had been filled, I had to stop and ask myself , remind myself that there are more things in my life to be grateful for than the bed I sleep on, or the shoes that I wear. I was forced to delve my thoughts into a deeper state of awareness. I had almost forgotten that the flowers I see on the trees, the sound of the rain, the laughter of the children, and loving gestures from my family contribute to my happiness just as much , if not even greater than any one item that I’ve bought or can touch. Its the small things that I don’t notice or seem to take for granted that play a bigger role and deserve to have the acknowledgment of adding to my day to day happiness ; which in turn contributes in the bigger scheme of things to my becoming a more aware and better person
The reason I’m blogging about this today is that I’m reminded once again of how fortunate I’ve been in the recent months with the opportunities presented to me and the people that have come into my life. For what seems like an eternity, I’ve felt that circumstances beyond my control had placed me in a position that set me up for anything but success and happiness. The reflective lesson learned via this gratitude journal experience revealed itself and made me realize how I overlooked the many positive instances and situations that were perhaps in front of me all the time. Things that I was possibly overlooking because I was too busy focusing on the negativity of the situation rather than seeing it instead in a positive light. I have decided to keep a gratitude journal and document daily the things I am grateful for daily as a way to keep reminding myself that life is good; and only becomes better if I allow it to!