I am one of those people who loves an old school, notebook-style planner. I look forward to the new year because it means an un-touched agenda-book with new bold colors, empty lines and dates to fill, and a fresh space to organize my unpredictable year.
This year, a friend gifted me a new brand of planner and (gasp) I made the switch from a brand of planner I'd used for years. She gave me something called THE HAPPINESS PLANNER. The Happiness Planner of course allows you to write in all of your important dates and to-do's; however, each day, it gives you space to mark 3 good things that happened, what you look forward to for the next day, etc. As I have worked through the planner, I have noticed the power of mindfulness, and most importantly...the power of gratitude.
I have found that gratitude can turn a boring week or mundane month into a time filled with treasured memories. A gratitude practice, combined with a mindfulness practice, allows you to pause and reflect on the good in your day. And I've realized that joy can be found in the SIMPLEST of things. For example, a conversation over coffee or an unexpected walk in Riverside Park can be more memorable than that random performance at the West End.
I think Melody Beattie explains it best:
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend."
My gratitude practice continues to be such a teacher!
I've come to notice that oftentimes the most joy is found in simplicity.
Love is found by giving the gift of presence.
Gratitude is easily accessed when your senses are awake and you are tuned in to the world around you.
All it takes is saying THANK YOU each day. Saying thank you for three good things in your world.
Cultivating gratitude grounds us and fills us more than we could have ever imagined on our own.