Gratitude. I’ve written about it before, as have many others, but it’s important enough to warrant repetition. It’s key to creating a fulfilling, joyous life. I try daily to offer thanks to the Universe for abundance in my life…a roof over my head and warmth within, plenty of food, family and friends, health, security and opportunity. I really try not to take anything for granted, and becoming aware and offering up thanks helps with this.

For Christmas this past year a wonderful friend gave me one of the best gifts I’ve received…a gratitude box. Within a lovely, enticing box I found a stack of 365 decorative papers and a little instruction sheet urging me to write down something for which I’m grateful on each paper, one each day, for the entire coming year. The finale: on New Years Eve, heading into another year in which I will hope for happiness and abundance, I’m to read each and every one of these notes, reminding myself of all of the wonderful things that happened or I experienced or were somehow memorable throughout the year.

I’ve fulfilled this “New Year’s Resolution” of sorts for two months now and it has become a part of my daily routine. I missed a day here and there and had to catch up until I found the perfect time and format for me and had enough repetition to solidify the practice. I find now that when I’m traveling and don’t have my box I miss writing and end up identifying my daily note in my head and sometimes write it down on my phone so I won’t forget until I return home.

I write about things I feel passionate about during the day or in general, things that happened that I want to always remember, nice words of support, abilities I am aware of, little things that made me smile, anything that provided me with comfort, relief, beauty, love, joy. Occasionally I have repeated entries because some things are so important to me and my passion or love so strong I can’t help but mention my gratitude for such a wonderful thing. Sometimes I think on it for a while, trying to identify something very small in order to expand awareness of my abundance; maybe my dog did something that made me laugh out loud, or I heard the first redwing blackbird of the season (already!).

Like everyone else, I certainly have things happen during the day that are irritating or frustrating or difficult. If I can shift into a state of gratitude, however…identify something uplifting or pleasing, or compare the situation to something worse (and there’s always something worse), I can resume a feeling of gratitude and allow my day to flow positively rather than being caught up in the negative. When I let go of the frustration or irritation, joy flows in and the day goes smoothly and I feel happy.

The gratitude box has taken me a step further in my quest to be grateful and, by recognizing it and being thankful for it, to increase my abundance. I cherish my quiet moments of reflection and gratitude, as I do the friend who gave me this wonderful gift. I have designs for creating and offering this gift to someone else when the holiday season comes around again this year. It always feels great to share truly meaningful things.

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