There are many days when life just seems too much to bare, when everything seems like it’s working against you and you’re barely making it. It’s during these trying times when observing the things in your life that are actually working is most important. You might be thinking “nothing is working right in my life right now, that’s exactly the problem!” However truth be told, if you’re reading this then your eye sight is still functioning and you have access to an electronic device, whether it be a computer or hand held, and that’s something that’s working. Turns out, if you take the time to take inventory all the good things, however small, you’ll discover there’s much to be thankful for. And that’s what’s called “A Book of Gratitude.”
Like many things on my spiritual journey, I didn’t realize a book of gratitude was actually a thing until I started to make one. I called it my “book of light” and it was a way of cheering myself up when things in my life weren’t going so great. It gave me permission to express my wishes and desires, but also provided a place to document everything that was actually going great for me. I sat by myself and really thought hard about everything… the smallest detail…that was “working.” I could see, hear, taste and touch, I could feel emotion, I had some food in the fridge, I had some way cool gel pens, I slept on a pillow last night, I had shelter… I wasn’t going to pass up anything. I figured it was more than fair since when we’re upset about things, we tend to make mountains out of molehills. So I did the same, but in the opposite direction and this was actually real… and tangible.
I started out by getting a decent sketch pad from Target and getting a box of 100 gel pens from Amazon for like $15. I figured spending a little money was a way of me committing to actually doing this, and it gave the project some importance, however small it might have been. I ended up using an old flower pot to hold all these pens since I didn’t realize what a hundred of them looked like until I received them in the mail. This was a very cool process in itself because by giving myself permission to be creative, and to stop thinking of all the bad shit going on, I opened my temporarily distracted mind to infinite possibilities and solutions. Plus who can say no to coloring?
I began drawing in outrageous colors and designs… I’m not an artist by any means but I draw a pretty mean flower, like the kind from 70’s shower curtains. I had this! I just began drawing pictures of things that made me happy, dedicating an entire page at times to things that were going right. For example, I dedicated a page to my mom, who has taught me so many valuable lessons in my life, and documented all the wonderful aspects of her that I could think of. I dedicated a page to my partner Eric and everything that we’ve accomplished and experienced together, and I even drew a page of wishes… manifestations of things yet to come. All in a positive light and outlook.
“…by giving myself permission to be creative, and to stop thinking of all the bad shit going on, I opened my temporarily distracted mind to infinite possibilities and solutions. “
Making colorful lists in my book also became a thing, as I started giving each written word or item a different color, making sure once again that I paid great attention to not leaving anything out. By the end of my first session, not only had I enjoyed a much needed break from all the chaos, but I felt uplifted, inspired and most importantly, I had hope. Hope for the future and the kick ass list of things in my life that were actually working. This totally began taking on almost a scrap booky kind of feel, but even better because I was documenting my soul so to speak.
So on this Thanksgiving, when we’re supposed to be thinking of what we have to be thankful for, why not start your own book of gratitude and enjoy the process of realizing that things are never as bad as they seem, and there’s always room for hope, light and love.
Wishing you all a joyous holiday season!