Remember when gratitude journals became popular over 20 years ago? I tried keeping a gratitude journal many times over the years. Even though I was very thankful for the many blessings that I had, it was more of an intellectual exercise for me, without much feeling involved. Fast forward to today.

It took me a while to get this, but I have learned that in order for me to have a heartfelt session with a gratitude journal, I must go beyond just observing all the wonderful things in my life. I must go to a place that is not as familiar to me. I write down or think about what I am grateful for until I can PHYSICALLY FEEL it inside of me. When I write down something I’m grateful for, if it doesn’t give me a physical feeling, I redo it until it does. I either go deeper into the details, or let that one go for now and move on to appreciating something I can physically feel. When I do this, I am in the process of creating the physical and emotional feeling of gratitude, appreciation or thankfulness. The result of this is that it makes me feel good which is usually followed by smile.

So, here’s an example of what I’m talking about. I could say that I am thankful for my beautiful backyard and that would be true. However, now I choose to focus on the details because of the physical feelings it evokes inside me when I do. I think about the way the sun and the shadows show up in a lovely silhouette on my deck and lawn, the gorgeous array of colors that have a multihued backdrop of green that accents them. I think about the freedom I have to sit on my deck in a comfortable chair. I notice how the leaves and branches on the trees move when there’s a gentle breeze, making them look like they’re alive. I am grateful to nature for allowing me to enjoy it’s artwork in the form of stones and rocks in my backyard. They have so much character. Can you have enough rocks? And most of all, my favorite thing is my birdbath. It’s not really the actual physical structure. For whatever reason, I find it absolutely delightful to watch the birds fluff their feathers in the water over and over again. It makes me giggle. I think for me it symbolizes pleasure and freedom. I like to think they are flying away refreshed and spruced up for their day. Who knows, maybe it leaves them with a more pleasant feeling too.

When was the last time something made you giggle? Is there anything around you right now that you could stop and appreciate for a moment until you physically FEEL the feeling that it creates? If you’d like to take a chance on feeling happier right now, why not give it a try? You may feel like you just fluffed your feathers.🐥

With love, Jackie

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