Daily Gratitude: Life On Mars

Through time and space, I arrive anxious and uncertain. I am in a dark place, isolated by my own doing. I controlled the launch. I selected the destination. Fear of asphyxiation lies right outside the comfort of my shuttle.

What if I’m not ready?

What if I’m not good enough?

Often times, this is what self questioning and depreciation can feel like. We retreat to the darkest places of our mind, only to be met by irrational fears and a contorted view of our reality. We may not travel to Mars but these thoughts certainly can make us feel hundreds of millions of miles from anyone who can help or understand. The same two questions presented prior to any kind of major change or transition in our lives. These questions, have an answer.

You are ready.

You are good enough.

You were born for this.

I step out on to the surface of the foreign planet. The sun, warming my suit and finally reaching this side of Mars. I grow more confident with each motion forward. I forge a new path in a strange place leaving behind the comfort of my ship.

Up-Hill

Does the road wind up-hill all the way? Yes, to the very end. 

Will the day’s journey take the whole long day? From morn to night, my friend. 

But is there for the night a resting-place? A roof for when the slow dark hours begin. 

May not the darkness hide it from my face? You cannot miss that inn. 

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night? Those who have gone before. 

Then must I knock, or call when just in sight? They will not keep you standing at that door. 

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak? Of labour you shall find the sum. 

Will there be beds for me and all who seek? Yea, beds for all who come.

As the old adage goes, we don’t know unless we try. Words of change fill and circle my mind like wind trapped in a bottle. The journey will not be easy. The answers we seek may not always be clear. But we must begin if we wish to find our way. Indecision and complacency leave us stranded in the recess of our minds, on the cold side of distant planets.

Begin today, and do it with gratitude for what got you here.

04.24.19

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Clear blue skies and warm spring days
  2. The sound of the wind, a song and a reminder
  3. Creative outlets and opportunities
  4. Coaches, teachers, mentors, and role models
  5. Late night ice cream
  6. A couple deep breaths when I need them
  7. Time to reflect and decide
  8. Inspiration, in all its forms
  9. My family and the support they provide
  10. The here and now, this present moment

Check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I started writing about gratitude and why I want you to start writing a list of your own. 

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

March Gratitude Recap!

Another video!

I definitely felt more comfortable in front of the camera and I’m eager to improve. I miss the daily posts and interacting with the WordPress community on a more regular basis. I really enjoyed interacting with and having conversations with professionals dedicated to education. I can fondly remember some of the most outstanding teachers I have had, simply because of how they made me FEEL. It’s not always about content, I would be unable to tell you about some of the specific details about old tests or assignments. What I can share is how I felt at home walking into each of these anointed classrooms. I was welcomed and encouraged to do my best work and to be myself. I hope to one day do that for students of my own.

As I wrap up my Master’s Degree, I’m looking forward to doing more writing and sharing here on the Gratitude Journal. The sun has helped my motivation this past week and I’m excited for it to continue to get warmer.

Keep on the lookout for a published version of 365 Days Of Gratitude!

My dream for the Gratitude Journal is to recruit as many writers as possible. The blog would continue to post daily and share gratitude lists from all over the world in combination with larger projects and ideas meant to be shared. If this is something you’re interested in, follow the links to Guest Blogging up above.

Check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I started writing about gratitude and why I want you to start writing a list of your own. 

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

Community Post: Finding My Identity

This post is written by Katie Lemons, a wonderful blogger, and creator you can learn more about at (Hot & Sour). Katie was recognized as a recipient of Amazon’s Top 35 Family Lifestyle blogs. 

I am a woman. I am Chinese-American. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a scientist. I am a writer. I am all of these things, yet none of these words can accurately portray my individuality or even begin to explain the essence of who I am.

It wasn’t until after my son was born that I truly began to think deeply about my own identity. Before then, I had taken it for granted that I knew who I was, that it wasn’t something that needed to be reflected upon. But after having a child, my identity became inextricably intertwined with the little person who was now a permanent fixture in my life. It was only when I tried to separate myself from the role of motherhood that I realized I didn’t know where to begin.

Little by little, I began to realize that my identity is not defined by my roles, my job, or my hobbies. Rather than looking for labels to describe me, I began to look at the various aspects of my life as the things which bring me overwhelming joy. It wasn’t until I began to appreciate and be thankful for the things I have that I was able to shift my focus and live life to the fullest.

I am grateful for…

  1. The feeling of sinking into my bed, after an exhausting day
  2. Watching my son eagerly absorbing everything the world has to offer
  3. Reading a book that truly resonates with me
  4. Finding something in common with someone else that is totally unexpected
  5. Witnessing the immense love my son continuously receives from his grandparents
  6. A long hug with my husband after work
  7. Sleeping in on the weekend when my son visits with his grandparents
  8. A big bowl of delicious noodle soup
  9. Discovering a TV show that my husband and I both love
  10. Amazon Prime Two Day Shipping
  11. Coming home to a house cleaned top to bottom by my husband
  12. Creative inspiration
  13. Making a difference and being recognized at work
  14. Connecting with old friends without missing a beat
  15. Financial security
  16. The feeling of comfort and nostalgia when eating food I grew up with
  17. Doing something random and silly that causes my son to laugh from his belly
  18. Finding a great deal on something I was going to buy anyway
  19. Listening to podcasts
  20. People and situations that are placed in my life that facilitate personal growth
  21. My health and well-being
  22. Knowing that what I do makes a difference in patients’ lives
  23. A workplace and supervisors that are incredibly supportive of parenthood
  24. Changing into my pajamas and snuggling under a blanket on the couch
  25. Being a homeowner with two parks within walking distance of our neighborhood

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For more from Katie, check out her blog at Hot & Sour, where she writes about motherhood, marriage, food, culture, and much more.

Check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I started writing about gratitude and why I want you to start writing a list of your own. 

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

My Next Project!

Thanks for watching! Still trying to master video but I’m excited to share this first installment. Now that I have completed 365 days of gratitude, I’m ready for what comes next.

Follow The Gratitude Journal for bi-weekly videos and posts in-between about living life with positivity. I want to hear your story!

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

Check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I started writing about gratitude and why I want you to start writing a list of your own. 

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)!

Promise Yourself (#354)

“To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.” 
― Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them

02.17.19

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Shared laughter
  2. Late night ice cream
  3. Game Of Thrones marathons
  4. Real running marathons
  5. Productive time
  6. Trips to Chipotle
  7. Hanging out with Ned
  8. A clean apartment
  9. Painted skies
  10. Time at the gym
  11. Handwritten notes and letters
  12. A moment to breathe
  13. Signs from the Universe
  14. A cool breeze on a warm day
  15. People who inspire
  16. Local bagels in the morning
  17. My family
  18. The little things
  19. Teachers, mentors, and coaches
  20. Basketball in the driveway
  21. Coming home
  22. Hot soup on a cold day
  23. A good book to read
  24. Lessons learned
  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.

 

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

Featured image from Judas Tree

An evening at the mall (#311)

Community post #2! Thanks so much to our guest writers – I’m excited to share more. This post is by a fellow gratitude writer. We connected and talked about the power of gratitude over email and now this.

Check out Ryan’s gratitude journal at ryannjohnson.com/gratitude/.

Yesterday, I went with a friend to get dinner and ice cream at a mall nearby. It was the nicest mall I’d ever been to, featuring art installations in walkways, tall glass on every storefront, and the bustling atmosphere of the holiday season.

We arrived at the restaurant we wanted to eat at. They had an hour-long wait. My friend put down his number and we left to wander the mall until our table was ready.

The two of us walked, window shopped, tried on and bought new shoes, and lounged in one of the many sitting areas littered across the expansive public space.

Before we knew it, our table was ready and we strode over to enjoy a delicious meal together.

I’m grateful that an evening like this can be commonplace in my life. I’m aware of how terrible others’ circumstances can be, how my own fortunate circumstances were gifted to me, and that this privilege is ephemeral and it will be gone sooner than I realize.

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. The safety of my friends and family.
  2. My capacity to fall in love and that I continually do so.
  3. That my body still works.
  4. That my body still works well.
  5. The people who have stepped into my life and become my mentors because of the mentors they themselves have had.
  6. My reclining couch that ruins most other couches I sit on.
  7. Books.
  8. Audiobooks.
  9. Patrick Rothfuss’s “The Wise Man’s Fear” on Audible.
  10. Being able to make and eat my own favorite meals any time I want.
  11. Having a job I inherently enjoy.
  12. That I’ve fallen into a line of work that I’m good at and is in relatively high-demand.
  13. Having co-workers who care about one another and that I genuinely enjoy spending time with.
  14. That I live in America at a time when opportunities to shape my own life have never been easier.
  15. That my psyche is still intact and hasn’t shattered under the stress of events I cannot cope with.
  16. This laptop that I got a super good deal on.
  17. My ability to learn.
  18. My curiosity that motivates me to learn.
  19. Relationships with my parents that have grown so fulfilling as I’ve gotten older.
  20. That I’ve never been part of the food chain.
  21. That I don’t live in constant fear or dread.
  22. Friendly neighbors with healthy boundaries.
  23. Explosive music for exhilarating runs.
  24. The people who love and care about me, even when I sometimes don’t feel worthy of love.
  25. That I’m still alive.

Thank you Jake for having me do a guest post on your gratitude list!

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)!