My friend, Paige, had a giveaway on her website for the Divina Journal for Magical Babes. I'm not a big journaler, and I'm not usually drawn to stuff like this but I couldn't stop looking at it. So I entered the thinger, encouraged my friends to try and I lost. :) BUT my friend Keva won! And she's amazing. And she sweetly offered it to me, but I deferred, only to find out a few days later that my sister got it for me for Christmas. Ah, The Universe - mysterious, silly, smarter than me.
SO, I've got a journal, and I've been using it. There are spaces for daily notes - What did you dream last night (Diana Ross serenaded me), Morning prayer of gratitude (my kids are awesome), Today's intentions and wishes, Divination, Magic that happened today, Moon Moods (and the moon phases are at the top of the page!) and Menstruation.
The part that has made the biggest impression on me is the Morning Prayer of Gratitude (my kitten is too much fun). It's triggered something in me that causes me to actively look for reasons to be grateful (my dog is a good familiar). An example, from this morning's trip to the restroom:
"Wow, remember that job when I had to ask for permission to use the restroom and could get docked or denied if I went too often? Remember that one job where there were insects in the bathroom and we were told to deal with it? Remember that one job where I got asked if I was sick because I was going to the bathroom too often? That sucked. How nice to be working in a place that only cares if I do my work well, not that I'm chained to my desk"
which led to
(wandering to get water to drink) "It's so convenient to get clean water to drink. And ice! I'm really fortunate to live in a country and a state that has clean water. I'm lucky that I've lost my taste for soda for the most part and can get water when I'm thirsty. That's nice."
which led to
"I wonder how often people are able to stop and be grateful for small things? It's such a blessing to have the time and energy to reflect on my conditions."
etc. You see where I'm going with this.
What I noticed about all of this internal rambling can be summed up in three words: Happiness, Gratitude (I have two jobs that I dig), and Stress-Reduction (shush it's hyphenated)
Happiness - I feel happier because I'm truly living in the present (this water is really good) instead of blithely stumbling through my day. My partner really stepped up for me this weekend, and instead of just thinking "Hey, that was nice", I've been really thinking about the support he gives me and how many ways he shows me love and how lucky I am. Grins all around, people.
Gratitude (I am warm in the winter) - I am selfish. Yes. I said it. I think that we all are to some degree. I have a Sagittarian drive to DO THE THING without stopping to breathe or take my time or appreciate the points between A and Z. I just go go go. I'm paying more attention to what is outside of me instead of inside of me. Stopping to be grateful (I can afford Netflix) about the little things has taken up a lot of my head-space, which means that I have a lot to be grateful (I have five books in my to read queue on OverDrive) for, which is something that I'm ...you know..grateful for. *coff*
Stress-Reduction - My mind has been filled with gratitude (I am able to be graceful in temperament on occasion) in the last few days. Not bitching, not worrying (I am so anxious so anxious so anxious) I tend to wander in little anxiety circles. "Money is tight, so we might not be able to get groceries and I might not get paid until after we need groceries and I'm so stressed because money is tight..." And on and on we go. Worry solves nothing. Nothing at all, but honestly, I am a worrier. I've found that if I replace my cyclical worrying thoughts with gratitude (I love that Downton Abbey is back. Right on) the cycle is disrupted. I get my brain back.
I encourage you to pick up one of these journals- it feels good in your hands and takes 10 minutes a day, seriously. If you can't do this, perhaps you can try to be mindful during your day. Honestly, it feels like a weight has lifted off of my shoulders. I'm not carrying the weight of my fears as much. They've been replaced with blessings, which are light as a feather.