A friend emailed to say she was going to start a gratitude journal after I posted my Positive Thinking For One Week Only! special. This is an exercise I usually assign in my writing classes (every day, jot down at least 3 things you’re grateful for, and keep going for one week), and I love it because it’s a concrete way of keeping our focus on all the good stuff going on in our lives.
I’m going to dig out my old gratitude journal for another reason as well. In a recent comment, Julie asked the following: OK, here’s the good stuff going on in my life. Now how do we let go of the rest?
Which is what I’ve been wondering, too–particularly during the long, hot day I spent trapped at Legoland earlier this week. And here’s what I’ve come up with: I still don’t know how to let go of all the yucky stuff, but I think we can turn to the concept of meditation as a clue. If we don’t get too attached to all the yucky stuff, it’ll eventually blow right by. Right? So maybe the goal isn’t so much to negate the bad as it is to just let it be. And put our attention toward the positive goings-on around us instead. (Yes, yes, I know: if I was really going to follow through on the whole meditation thing, we wouldn’t even be putting our attention toward the positive–we’d be letting that blow by, too.)
Before I ask how you let go of all the yucky stuff, here’s my list of what I’m grateful for today:
- Overhearing a woman at the coffee shop this afternoon telling the barista she was “Great!” and “Isn’t life wonderful?”
- Having the perfect work document land in my lap.
- Meeting someone new at the office where I’m consulting and noticing she had a poster of the Union Terrace at UW-Madison hanging on her wall–one of my favorite places in the world.
- Unearthing a forgotten batch of chili from the freezer and not having to cook dinner.
I particularly like listening to Nico sing a version of the Blige song: “It’s a beautiful day, a beautiful day, no matter what they say….”