My life had, just weeks before, been turned upside down and somewhere deep inside I knew that I’d drown in the sadness unless I started to recognise all that was good in my life.
I was visiting friends in Geneva, a trip that had been booked months in advance, but was now my first holiday alone in over eight years. It felt rather weird, lonely even, though I was in company of good friends I had known since my early twenties.
In the old town of Geneva, I wandered into a beautiful stationery store knowing I wanted to purchase a gratitude journal, but not just any gratitude journal, I wanted something that was going to be meaningful for me. From a practical perspective, I also wanted a journal that had lined pages as my ability to write freehand in a straight line was rather limited and my appreciation for neat and tidy handwriting necessitated such a thing!
The store had variety of colourful lined and blank paged journals but nothing was standing out. I then noticed that some of the journals had lovely letter pressed words on the front of them and I decided I needed to have one of those.
The sign I was looking for...
I’m a big believer in signs and as I was looking around the store I hoped I’d find the perfect message for me. When I saw the words ‘Every journey starts with a first step’ I knew I’d found my book. Something resonated deep inside, I knew then I was on a new life path and it was scary but those words gave me the comfort I needed and the courage to take the first step.
Writing in that journal everyday helped me heal from my heartbreak, it enabled me to stay focused on everything I had in my life that I was truly grateful for, rather than dwelling on what I had lost. When I read back through that first journal the only indication I have on whether I was having a bad day was the specific things I chose to be grateful for that day. When I was in my darkest moments I had to dig deep but I always found I had gratitude, at the very least, for my five senses and for being alive.
Gratitude over misery...
There is a prevailing notion that misery and gratitude cannot co-exist. I having been practising gratitude daily for over three years now my observation would be that when you are consciously acknowledging everything you are grateful for it is impossible in those same moments to be feeling miserable.
Daily practice has had the most profound effect on my well-being, I write in my journal everyday because I know through gratitude my heart always remains open. With an open heart I am my best self.
I started the search for a gratitude journal recognising that in order to overcome my sadness I had to get grateful for all that I had. Finding that journal gave me more than just an appreciation for my life so far, it gave me the encouragement I needed to move forward and fulfil my life's potential.
As I build this website and blog with the purpose of giving value through my own learning, I continue to recognise that each journey does indeed start with a first step.
What will your first step be today?