If you are having difficulty exploring your Out of the Whirlwind Journal, a great and very simple way to ease into the process is to start with Appreciation. It’s been said that the more we appreciate and are in gratitude, the more the things we appreciate and are grateful for appear in our lives. Why not use your Out of the Whirlwind Journal as your daily “Gratitude Journal” to start.
When we appreciate something it’s because of how that something makes us feel. So, try approaching this from your heart instead of your head; tune in to how the person, place or thing you appreciate and are grateful for makes you feel.
• I awoke feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, and ready to head into my day of activities. (Appreciating your comfortable bed or environment.)
• I held the yoga pose comfortably and I was completely present and in the flow holding that pose last night. (Appreciating your level of flexibility or fitness.)
• I was completely engaged and enthralled and had such wonderment as I watched So You Think You Can Dance; I used to love getting on the dance floor. (Appreciating fun activities you share with loved ones and/or your ability to dance yourself.)
• It felt so easy driving in to work this morning with light traffic. It felt great to be behind the wheel and enjoying my favorite radio station and I was at work before I knew it. (Appreciating your car or ability to drive to work instead of taking public transportation.)
• I felt very reassured chatting with my boss this morning. It feels really good to have her acknowledge my contributions and hard work. I feel proud of my accomplishments (Appreciating your job and the people you work with.)
• I felt so reenergized after my brisk walk during my lunch break. I’m so grateful to be able to recharge my batteries; I felt present and focused for the rest of the day. (Appreciating working in a great neighborhood with pleasant walking trails, or the ability to prepare for your afternoon with some invigorating physical activity.)
• I enjoy being engaged in the kitchen, am grateful for those moments and I’m really looking forward to preparing my favorite dish tonight. (Appreciating your awesome kitchen and/or appliances and your cooking skills.)
It doesn’t matter how many things you can think of to start, even if it’s just one or two, that’s fine. The key is to start. Try to come up with at least one thing (more if you can) for each of the categories: health, relationships, environment and purpose. There’s no need to rush this process; take your time with it and revisit it regularly to see if you can get a clearer experience and feeling of appreciation.
It’s a great idea to visit your journal at the same time each day and fit it into your daily ritual. Your journal is a perfect resource for clearing your mind and processing your thoughts, without judgment. Journaling becomes a way of giving yourself access to your soul and what’s really going on in your life—a way of tuning in to what is wanted and what is not wanted.
Getting into the habit of posting on your journal regularly will enhance your experience of what you appreciate in your life as a whole. As mentioned, it’s a matter of making the decision to start and once started if you need to take it a little bit at a time, give yourself permission to do so.
We all have the capacity to experience appreciation in our lives, and, when we do, we are happier for it and things tend to go more smoothly. All too often, we lose the connection to that feeling of joy and fall into the whirlwind of the busy mind. Journaling prompts us to recall our experiences of wellbeing and joy that have always been available to us and have been present consciously in many situations and at many times in our lives.
“Your life is right now! It’s not later! It’s not in that time of retirement. It’s not when the lover gets here. It’s not when you’ve moved into the new house. It’s not when you get the better job. Your life is right now. It will always be right now. You might as well decide to start enjoying your life right now, because it’s not ever going to get better than right now—until it gets better right now!” — Abraham
Excerpted from the workshop in Silver Spring, MD on Saturday, May 11th, 2002