The Power of Gratitude to Transform Life

Echo, the athletic dog loved the snow!

It’s been exactly one month since the day my dear pup Echo left this earthly plane and it’s November, one of my favorite months. Both heart breaking and heart mending, at the same time. The 12th of November is my half birthday, which I love celebrating! Part of why I love November is because it’s the month to focus on gratitude. Being grateful is a good mental state to occupy.

Over the years, a few people have talked to me about the value of keeping a Gratitude Journal. It just never really clicked. Until a few years ago, when I attended a training to learn about facilitating a healing process for people who have endured chronic health challenges, like cancer. In the training, one of the women getting trained raved about the power of a Gratitude Journal. She told powerful stories of transformation. I was deeply moved by what she said.

That night I went home and started my first serious Gratitude Journal. At this point of my life, I was about as down and out financially as I had ever been in my life. The previous year, I had made just barely $12,000. I had terrible debt from my business not being financially successful. And my finances completely overwhelmed me. As I started my Gratitude Journal, I took a very deep breath, and got very specific and simple.

I committed myself to listing at least ten things I was grateful for each day. I list things like:

  • Fresh air to breath
  • Walking Echo in the sunshine
  • Insulin to keep me healthy
  • Laughter
  • New friends
  • A comfy bed
  • My Guardian Angels & Guides
  • Riding my bike
  • Eating healthy food at all meals
  • My strong immune system

I write in my Gratitude Journal every single night before I fall asleep. I’m on my forth Gratitude Journal and I just completed my third year of keeping a Gratitude Journal. One of the most amazing things I’ve noticed since starting this Gratitude Journal process is that I notice small things for which I am grateful for all day long. I notice that I smile in my heart more often. And I stay centered in abundance and generosity.

And amazingly, I am no longer down and out financially. I have a good 75% time job at the University of Minnesota being an Internship Coordinator. The job provides me with excellent health care coverage, good retirement accounts and wonderful colleagues. I still substitute teach a few days a month at a fabulous charter school called Great River School. I have an excellent side gig, coaching people on how to successfully use LinkedIn. I have a few savings accounts that I add to every month. And I worked with an outstanding, very smart lawyer to deal with my debt situation. I now know how to live within my means. I am very frugal and I simultaneously feel very generous.

I credit much of the shift in my situation to keeping my Gratitude Journal. It keeps me in a state and flow of openness, prosperity, hope and abundance. It opens my heart before falling asleep. And it reminds me that there is always goodness, magic, joy and love in the world.

Do you keep a Gratitude Journal? If not, I highly recommend the practice!!


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4 thoughts on “The Power of Gratitude to Transform Life”

  1. Powerful story, thanks Mari! I’m grateful for you being so generous with your advice 🙂

    (but that pop-over SM widget is one thing I’m not grateful for!)

  2. I have never been good at keeping a journal. I have found the obligation to be stressful. Any tips on how to overcome any guilt associated with skipped days? Maybe I could start with weekly entries.

    • Hi Mike!!
      I confess, over the past 3 years, I have skipped about 5 days of Gratitude Journal writing. The days I miss, I do a practice of self forgiveness. I actually talk to myself and tell myself I am forgiven for not being perfect. I remind myself that I am human and therefore I am not perfect. I love your idea of starting with weekly entries!!! Part of it is making it a habit, part of your routine. I timed how long it took me to make an entry… I can do it start to finish in less than 3 minutes. That framed the commitment for me. Often I will ask myself, “Do you have 3 minutes to do this helpful activity?” I usually answer YES!!
      Much love to you dear Mike!
      And gratitude for leaving a comment!

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