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A number of years ago, Oprah had a show on talking about a daily gratitude journals and on that particular show, she had Sarah (forget her last name) on the program. They talked about writing down 5 gratitudes everyday, using a journal. I thought, heh what a great suggestion, I can do that. It was one of the hardest struggles I went through on my quest for inner simplicity.

I was going through a real struggle during that time and couldn't come up with one gratitude, never mind 5 each day, but I was determined I was going to become grateful for 5 things each day. I'd sit and nothing would come, it was horrible. Often I'd end up in tears and want to throw my journal and quit.

I happened to go into a book store and seen a journal that had a little girl on it, writing. I had what Oprah often calls a "lightbulb moment". I purchased it and then looked for another one that I could purchase. I gave those journals to the kids and told them what I wanted them to do, to write down 5 things they were grateful for. I had to explain what "grateful" meant and it was pretty hard explaining something I couldn't do myself at the time. I wanted to see through their eyes and in seeing through their eyes, maybe I could find something to be grateful for.

It was amazing what they wrote down. They were grateful for mommy and daddy, for the sun, for snowflakes, for their beds, for hot meals and on and on. At the time, their spelling was horrible, but I could understand what they were saying. It became one of our best times of the day. I couldn't believe it because I suddenly realized that I could be grateful for those little things. Their journals opened up for me a whole new journey and I so appreciated that they could see the little things when I couldn't.

They no longer do those journals, but during my recent decluttering, I found them, tucked away and took them out and read through them. They brought tears to my eyes and starting the new school year, they will once again be writing in their journals. I won't need to figure out their spelling now because they've grown, but it will be very interesting to see how their gratitudes have changed or whether they have.

I just wanted to share a little something about my journey into finding things to be grateful for. Every now and then, I still struggle, but I'm always reminded of those 2 journals that changed me and my ways of thinking. Seeing through the eyes of kids always brings a smile to my face!!
 

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thank you for posting this. I'm going to try this writing 5 things I'm grateful for each day in my journal. Hubby and I just had a fight about this last night. I got upset because we weren't going to get to go car shopping today after all and he informed me we might have to keep our van. Of course, I threw a big fit and he informed me that I need to learn to be more grateful for what I have so I think I'm going to give this a try.
 

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I came across gratitude journals through reading Simple Abundance : A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
http://www.simpleabundance.com/
The site is interesting to read. She has a book for men too. :)
She was featured on Oprah and I think it's how the daily gratitude journals gained popularity.

I love the "authentic moments" and also believe that we are all connected in some way. Her book "Something More" is wonderful too.

I think daily gratitudes written down or even just in my mind give depth to my life. It is these moments that are my life and they are worth recognizing and appreciating.

Her view on money magnetism is what helped my view on my situation a few years ago. She taught me that in my hardship, I could continue to give and feel peace about money vs. fear. It allowed me to feel "wealthy" and "abundant". She taught me that "authentic moments" never betray us.

Last night Zachary saw the moon and said "Look mommy it's the moon. It looks like a banana." This is what I plan to think about when I have a rough day or something that starts to pull and weigh me down. A simple moment that gives me clarity that I am truly blessed.
 

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Thank you CJ! What a wonderful memory!

I just love her books, she has taught me so much about inner simplicity and journal/gratitude writing.
 

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Yes, CJ, sometimes it's hard to come up with something to be grateful for...

I'm so thankful you shared this with us and mostly that you found your children's journal, just when you needed something to uplift you.:heartsm:

I have the gratittude journal *A Daybook of Comfort and Joy* by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I also have *Simple Abundance* and *Something More*...I should start reading one of them soon again...
 

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This is a great post! We had to make gratitude journals at our 12 step meeting (well we didn't HAVE to - but that's where I first heard of it)

It is very hard! - how awful is that? :( - I think I will try this again too.

The childrens journals are a lovely thing to keep to give to them when they are adults and have possibly forgotton how to be grateful - Just an idea.
 

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Great post CJ and Sara :) I started to do this when I first saw that Oprah show, but I was always writing the same things. Now I can see the task a bit differently now :)
 
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