proactive gratitude

Long have I been a champion of capturing the blessings in my life each evening in my journal. There is much evidence to suggest that simple actions of gratitude lead to greater happiness (cc:Shawn Achnor's TED Talk: The Happy Secret to Better Work). Listing the plentiful elements of my life that I am grateful for ensures that I end my day reflecting on what matters most & that the things that matter least do not interfere with the abundance of joy my life possesses.

I have contemplated this act to serve as an additional bookend to my day, at the beginning of it. Some days (err.... most days...) I wind up jumping right into the daily grind & do not take the time to set my day up & build my consciousness for gratitude. I have actively been trying to get around this, to boost my energy for the moments ahead of me & essentially embrace gratefulness at the beginning of my day. I have found this endeavor to be relatively simple. As I'm eating my breakfast I keep a journal at my desk & within it, in a few lines, I write out all of the wonderful anticipated moments ahead. I have found that as a result I look at my daily schedule less as a transactional to do list & more as an opportunity for joy, adventure, & blessings. I have also found greater awareness for opportunities that aren't explicitly on my agenda that otherwise may have gone overlooked. Some of the most mundane & repetitive tasks have felt much more exciting when I do this & I cannot help but find myself approaching the day ahead with a positive perspective.

Today I am excited to... work from home in the morning at my freshly cleaned & organized desk, sip warm green coconut tea, share a rare workday lunch with Pat, engage in early childhood education dialogue during the evening's book conversation, pack & prepare for an exciting week in Birmingham, smile at strangers, tackle small tasks & celebrate productivity, continue my exercise routine, respond to emails with delight, scratch the back of Penny's ear, eat yummy leftover pizza for dinner & fall asleep in Pat's arms.

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


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