A few short years ago I was in a place in my life that was a transition. The hallway of this transition felt like my darkest hour.
My husband and I were getting ready to move across the country when he ended up in a hospital having his leg amputated. That was not the darkest hour. After his surgery, he had a near-death experience and no; that too, was not the darkest hour. I was in the middle of selling our home, packing up our belongings and literally had no place to live. Nope - that too was not my darkest hour.
So you are asking "for the love of God what was my darkest hour?"
It was being so overwhelmed of all that was coming at me where I was literally frozen with fear and indecision. I was, however, thankful my husband did not die. I was thankful our house was sold. I was thankful I was organized and could pack a home by myself.
But to feel the gratitude, now that was a stretch. The only thing I could feel was my energy collapsing, my vitality for life diminishing.
One morning I realized I wanted to be grateful for my life and to live with joy again. That is when I decided to get out a journal and start writing about everything I WAS grateful for in my life......
There are 2 things you may not think you would find in a hallway of darkness. Gratitude, and a way to express it which can be accomplished through journaling.
Did you know gratitude and journaling are “get out of the dark free cards”?
I know, I accept when you are really stuck you may not have the energy to actually write anything down. And don't even get me started on the fuzzy brain to look around and see anything to be thankful for. I would like to invite you to open your mind to a possibility; perhaps it is not as difficult as you may think.
A gratitude journal is a way to focus on positive actions in your life. Especially when you are feeling the positive train just left you standing at the station.
Your journal can be written in a lovely book, it can be an audio recording or typing on a device. If you don't like the sound of your voice or seeing yourself in a video then writing your gratitude moments is probably the better choice. If you like to do things on the go then using an app on your phone may be the ticket.
Choose the method which feels appropriate for you so you can remain engaged and committed.
This is your journey of joy so pick the one that makes your heart flutter with excitement.
You may be asking, but how exactly does keeping a gratitude journal help move me out of the hallway of no thanks?
I started by jotting down anything in the day I felt grateful for. My grateful list varied from having a dispenser for packing tape that worked properly to seeing my husband healing quickly after his surgery.
I decided I would journal before I went to bed each evening. This action was like a mind dump. Instead of laying my head down on the pillow to rehash what didn't work through the day, I was able to smile and see all the positive things I had experienced. I felt calmer and slept soundly.
My gratitude list grew. In the beginning, I would struggle to see 5 items to write down but soon I could have a page full of thankful moments. As my day unfolded I would find myself swapping a "what now?" to "now what!"...with positive curious anticipation of the opportunity to practice a moment of thanks.
Some evenings I would flip through the pages and I would read all my grateful moments. I could feel my energy brighten as I relived all those wonderful times.
I am able to read over past entries when I need a boost, to be able to see the many times I have been grateful.
I acknowledge situations can turn out better than expected. And when something didn't show up that I was anticipating, I had a record of something better that did!
One important thing I learned along the way was not to judge the length of the list. It did not matter if I could fill a page or only write down one thing. It was focusing on the feeling that was activated in me in the particular moment. The feeling was happiness, joy, and love.
I began to realize what was truly important in my life and what was not. It certainly prepared me for letting go, when I acknowledged areas in my life that were not working for my highest good. I knew when I released anything, something better came to fill the void.
And you know why I understood that?
Because I had written proof time and time again. That was so empowering!
What do you write in a gratitude journal if you are not seeing much to be thankful for?
Do you need a little jump start?
Let me shine a light in your dark hallway so you can see some grateful moments. Click on the button below to receive your jump start. There is no opt-in required.
I am happy to help!
I can't help pick out your new journal.
I can help you jump start what to write in it.
Until next time,
Your Guide Through Life Transitions