Turn & Return (#361)

This community post was written by Julie Van. A published writer in the Seattle Times, an exceptionally talented poet, and a long time supporter of The Gratitude Journal. 

I am constantly reminded of two important facts: change will happen and growth is a choice. The uncertainty and surprises of life often converge into a sweet whirlwind of learning. And when I think I have things figured out, I am humbled by all that I do not know. I’ve also learned to not be afraid of what I do not know.

The turns of our lives is a result of choice and decisions made. What we choose to do is not only a reflection of ourselves and our values, but the circumstances that have pulled us to the moment. Each choice then weaves into the larger fabric of who we are – and also who we wish to be.

The challenge with choice is the courage needed to make a decision. How do we continue to nurture and care for that seed of confidence that is within us all? Especially on days when it feels as if every movement is a constant wallow through doubt and hesitation.

We remember to look inwards and return to ourselves. We remind ourselves of the strength within and look at our values as a guide. And sometimes we look outwards. During times when I feel myself loosing control, I feel myself pulled tighter to the kind universe and I know that I will be okay.

Whatever we decide to do, we trust ourselves to make the right choice and remain grateful for the chance.

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Fresh flowers to brighten my apartment
  2. Loved ones in different time zones
  3. Dancing and confidence in motion
  4. The last bite of ice cream, every single time
  5. Home videos and photo albums
  6. Dawg Saturdays
  7. Catching up over a shared meal
  8. Serendipity and things unexplainable
  9. Getting handwritten letters in the mail
  10. Cooking and trying new recipes together
  11. Hiking and time outside
  12. Sunsets while canoeing on Lake Washington
  13. Crisp air on early morning runs
  14. Poetry, both to read and write
  15. Pear-picking in the garden with my grandparents in the summers
  16. The mountains, evergreens, the ocean, and all reminders of the PNW
  17. My parents and siblings
  18. Both cheesy jokes and witty jokes
  19. Picnics and frisbee at Gas Works Park
  20. Trust and hope in the unknown
  21. The smell of fresh coffee in the morning
  22. Cross country moves and having multiple places to call home
  23. My loving and supportive boyfriend, JA
  24. All that has led me to right now
  25. This very moment
Link to my blog: julievvan.wordpress.com
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Featured photo of the Cascade Mountains in Washington at sunset

As always, check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!

Future Goals (#314)

It’s odd. All of my future goals and aspirations actually begin here in the present. It’s a challenge to reframe my thoughts in the present moment, ultimately as I look forward. I’ve come to learn this is a balance we must keep and something gratitude can help with.

I’m grateful for this moment first.

It’s a process and I’m trying to be patient with my own.

12.17.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. When my cat wakes me up in the morning
  2. Catching up with friends
  3. The end of the semester
  4. Safe travels
  5. Time at the gym
  6. Eating dinner with my family
  7. Cambodia and clean water
  8. Sharing gratitude
  9. People who inspire
  10. New Years resolutions
  11. The evening rain and Frank Ocean music
  12. Supportive colleagues
  13. Night time routines
  14. Airport stories
  15. When my friends send me music
  16. Late night ice cream
  17. Finding time versus making time
  18. A good book on the bike
  19. Liverpool games
  20. My fellow summer intern
  21. Saturday morning refereeing
  22. After school cereal
  23. Sledding down the hometown hill
  24. Local pizza
  25. Right here, right now

As always, check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!

Missing Cambodia always.

Take It To Another Level (#306)

The work will get done.

I have to keep reminding myself of this as the fall semester comes to an end and I still have so much to take care of.

The work will get done, I keep saying. 

Each breath acts as an anchor, knowing I have goals I am working towards. Planning only gets us so far – and similarly – so does writing lists. I want to live out loud when it comes to gratitude and positivity. I want to take those next steps and live each moment and use each action to demonstrate gratitude. This looks like patience. This looks like empathy and encouragement.

Ultimately reminding myself, I need to take life one day at a time. The best is yet to come. The work will get done but saying it isn’t enough. Taking action brings life to another level.

11.25.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Time for photography
  2. Support from Julie
  3. Handwritten cards of encouragement
  4. Sharing stories and laughter
  5. Summer bonfires and s’mores
  6. Camping in Acadia
  7. An empty email inbox
  8. My family
  9. New Weekend Music
  10. A little support from my friends
  11. My summer in the UK
  12. Being cozy and warm when it’s cold
  13. Great teachers and mentors
  14. Time to journal
  15. Inspiration from others
  16. Clean water
  17. Making my bed in the morning
  18. Basketball with my dad and brother
  19. Getting back into my routine
  20. A good night’s rest
  21. Positive people
  22. Exercising for my mental health
  23. Late night ice cream
  24. A clean apartment
  25. The here and now

As always, check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

ATTN: Make sure you check out my current giveaway! See how you can give back with gratitude. From now until the start of December.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Back In Time (#008)

Yesterday I realized my total number of blog posts didn’t match the corresponding number. I went back through and realized this trend started because it took less than 10 days for me to miscount to the correct number lol.

Because it’s three numbers I missed, each will have a theme. #008 is all about a blast from the past. Gratitude for what got me here and what has made me who I am today.

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Soccer practice after school
  2. Playing in the culdesac
  3. Guitar hero and DDR with friends
  4. Walks home from school
  5. Board game nights with the family
  6. My parents letting me decorate my room
  7. Basketball in the driveway
  8. Sledding down the hill
  9. Top 10 plays in the morning
  10. Weekend cartoons
  11. Being an RA, so much has come from taking advantage of this opportunity
  12. Mentors and good supervisors
  13. My family
  14. Stereo and CD jams
  15. Running through town before school
  16. Nights at the train station
  17. Starlight exploration
  18. Theatre arts classes and after school musicals
  19. Middle school band memories
  20. Home cooked meals and summer grilling
  21. Our Disney World vacation
  22. Life lessons about trust
  23. Visiting family on the west coast
  24. Late night ice cream
  25. Formative years and learning from experiences

As always, check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

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Surrounded (#261)

I love football season. I love my New England Patriots. I love Tom Brady. But most of all, I love spending my Sunday with my family enjoying the game. Sports are an important part of my life and I’m grateful for the past decade plus of excellence the Patriots have demonstrated during the fall and winter seasons.

It’s not about winning. I’m grateful to spend the time with my family and have something we all enjoy together. I’m grateful for the game day snacks and traditions my family has. I’m grateful for the time my family shares rooting for our local team.

09.09.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. My family
  2. Time to organize my music
  3. Understanding and patience
  4. Home movies
  5. Writing lessons
  6. My journal
  7. Time at the gym
  8. Learning from my mistakes
  9. My Peer Mentor staff
  10. Working at UMass
  11. Shared laughter
  12. Rolling down the Shea Durgin hill
  13. My BSU friends
  14. New audiobooks and podcasts
  15. Good communication
  16. Morning yoga and tea
  17. A couple deep breaths
  18. Safe travels
  19. My fraternity brothers
  20. Safe travels
  21. Being helpful
  22. When my mom watches my cat, Ned
  23. Learning something new
  24. Clean dishes
  25. The present moment

As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

Featured image is not my own.

Author Your Own Amazing Story (#260)

It is my belief that mediocrity only exists because those are the limits we set for ourselves. We accept average as our norm and grow complacent with the outcome.

You can author and create the life you always wanted and you don’t have to wait until tomorrow to start. Begin right now. Use gratitude to recognize your growth overtime but ground yourself in the here and now. Each breath is new. Each moment we have in a day has the potential to change our lives. So why not you?

09.08.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Love and positivity
  2. Good communication
  3. My family
  4. New music all weekend
  5. Sharing a beer with my dad
  6. Summer grilling
  7. Time in my hammock
  8. My journal
  9. Change
  10. Friendly supermarkets
  11. Stories about Home
  12. The blogging community and the people I’ve met thanks to my lists
  13. Landscaping with my friends
  14. My continued education
  15. Walks to the Rez
  16. Happy tears
  17. Good books
  18. Lessons learned
  19. Belief and understanding
  20. A couple deep breaths
  21. Clean water and my time in Cambodia
  22. Roller coasters
  23. Late night ice cream trips
  24. Good friends
  25. The here and now

As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

Featured image is not my own.

Anything but… (#240)

The featured image might be black and white but my life has been quite the opposite. Life is being out loud and in color, coming in on all stations. I’m grateful to be exactly where I am. Living life one day at a time.

08.19.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Fun car rides
  2. Roller coaster rides
  3. Staff bonding
  4. Family vacations
  5. Books on tape
  6. Weekend cartoons
  7. A clean apartment
  8. Trust
  9. New beginnings
  10. Being back at UMass
  11. Gratitude
  12. Dippin’ Dots
  13. Spotify
  14. The sunshine
  15. A couple deep breaths
  16. Fresh fruits and veggies
  17. Local bagels
  18. Pancakes on the weekend
  19. New routines
  20. Sunscreen
  21. Catching the sunset
  22. Great views
  23. Time for me
  24. Premier league weekends
  25. The here and now

As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

Featured image from Iceland. I’m playing around with black and white to learn how to focus on different parts of the picture with my photography.