I am excited to introduce a special guest today, Deborah Perdue, to talk about a favorite topic of mine -- journaling. Please give her a warm welcome, and share your thoughts with her below in the comment section!
Guest Post by Deborah Perdue
Author of Grace of Gratitude Journal
My mother kept journals most of her life too. So emulating her, I continued to keep writing in journals after I graduated from locked diaries. As the years went by, I honesty got bored with my entries though! There were certain themes that reoccurred over and over, ad nausea, such as feeling too fat and wanting to lose weight. My love life was also a reoccurring theme and I also noticed that I usually wrote in my journal only when I was down-hearted so they could be depressing when I re-read them. I was a bit of a drama queen when younger too, and so my journals sometimes read like a soap opera. Mostly, I noticed too much repetition, even if cathartic, and so I quit keeping a journal for a time.
But the very best journal writing I have found is keeping a Gratitude Journal! I was introduced to this practice about 7 years ago at a spiritual center I attended. There, the minister gave out blank journals, during November, the traditional month of Thanksgiving, and encouraged us all to write 5 things we are grateful for in our journal each day for 40 days. (40 days of consistently doing something new creates a new habit in our lives.) Ever the good student, I began recording my thoughts of thankfulness for those first 40 days, and I continue to this day with this powerful, transformative practice.
In fact, I created and published the Grace of Gratitude Journal specifically because I wanted to invite readers to try daily gratefulness in their own lives. So the Journal is a mixture of inspiring short passages from my own gratitude journals; mixed with Tara Thelen's gorgeous watercolors for more inspiration, and then blank pages are provided to the reader to try the practice of being more aware of what they are grateful for.
Gratitude is a passion for me, and I facilitate classes, retreats and workshops on the subject. I write blogs such as this one, and send out Daily Gratitude Thoughts to an email group. Being grateful has enhanced my life, with more joy and passion and exponential expansion that I ever imagined possible!
The images that adorn this article are from The Grace of Gratitude Journal, each is hand painted by internationally acclaimed artist Tara Thelen.
www.graceofgratitude.com. She teaches workshops, classes and facilitates retreats on the topics of gratitude, and how to bring joy and peace more fully into our lives. She has been a licensed practitioner at the Centers for Spiritual Living since 2007, serving the Grants Pass CSL. She offers spiritual counseling by phone or by skype. Ms. Perdue is also an accomplished book designer, www.illuminationgraphics.com and a nature photographer. She lives in the country of Southern Oregon with her husband and dogs.