Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger: Renee Knowles

What I learned from gratitude journals…
By Renee Knowles


I’ve always felt lucky. Not lucky in the sense that I could buy a lottery ticket and win a million dollars, or hit the jackpot on the slot machine in our local casino. No, I’ve always been lucky in the way people are when they get the dream job they have been wanting or land the contract they desire. And I’ve noticed luck in little ways as well. Maybe I have a run in my hose on the day of a big speech and no nail polish at hand—I will somehow make it through without incident. Or I might just happen to find a twenty dollar bill in my driveway.

Now, some may say these things come about by hard work or coincidence, not luck. But I still live knowing there is a little drop of fairy dust hanging over me.

I did anyway, until I started a gratitude journal early this year. I knew I had much to be grateful for and every day I counted my blessings. I mean I have a wonderful husband, an amazing baby boy, a nice home, supportive family and a writing career, which is really taking off. Yet, I was sure I was missing some things. I was sure I needed to be reminded how great life can be.

But until I began to put the words to paper, to really list every night all the things I was grateful for that day, it never sunk in just how much I had to be thankful for.

What about the great review I received, or the thoughtful gesture of my next door neighbor? Did I really ever stop and notice the beauty of the mountains outside my window, or was I becoming too complacent?

Once I began my journal, I wrote every night. I was trying to be consistent, but it was easy to do. It was easy to think of items to list, of reasons why I was happy. I realized all the things I thought were luck or chance, were perhaps more of a thread of good karma that was wound through the people I knew and opportunities I was presented. Yes, gratitude journals are very “Oprah,” but they are also very enlightening.

The Chinese have a theory: all people are connected by a “red thread.” I began to see this in a new light—all people have an affect on one another and their kindness and thoughtfulness will radiate to others. I started to see this all around me as I wrote my nighttime entry, and this made me begin to bring this karma to others. It made me want to extend thoughtfulness more than ever to my family and friends and even strangers in earnest.

Gratitude journaling has made me appreciate the small things as well as the big. Now I notice the cool breeze on a hot day and a perfectly made hot fudge sundae (cherry on top, please!). I realize in being grateful for the everyday things, I am also more thankful for the fabulous family I have and the fact I do what I enjoy every day—write.

And while I won’t knock a bit of luck now and then, I realize luck is not what I have to be grateful for. Precious moments are. And precious moments are what life is all about.

Hugs,

Renee

Renee Knowles
Sensual, Sassy and Slightly Sinful
Going Topless-"A must read."--5 Stars--Euro-Reviews Out Now! Siren
Courting Trouble--Regency Historical--A Wild Rose Press Bestseller!
Guilty Pleasures--A Siren-Bookstrand Bestseller! Siren
www.reneeknowles.com

20 comments:

Sarita Leone said...

What a wonderful post! A fabulous way to begin the day. Thank you. :)

Diane Craver said...

I agree with you, Renee! We have to concentrate on the things that make our lives precious and to be thankful! Great post!

Melissa said...

Thanks for the post!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

You are so right, Renee. I know how you feel about luck. I am not lucky at cards, etc. but I do have a great family and friends who are so supportive. I count that as my best luck of all.

Renee Knowles said...

Thanks, Sarita! What a lovely name you have :)

Renee

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Diane,

I learned that lesson as well when my dad passed on a couple of years ago--the gratitude journaling merely made it stick :)

Thanks for commenting!

Renee

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Melissa!

Thanks for stopping by!

Renee

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Paisley,

Friends and family are the best! I am very blessed as well.

Thanks for the comment!

Renee

Helen Hardt said...

Hi Renee! What a wonderful idea. It's so easy to take the blessings in our lives for granted. While I've never kept a gratitude journal, I did keep a journal where, in the evenings, I'd write down three good things that happened during the day. Kind of the same thing. Great post!

Helen
www.helensheroes.blogspot.com

Tara S Nichols said...

Good post and maybe that is something I ought to try. Some days writing can take its toll too and this might be a way to remind oneself its still worth doing it.

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi, Renee, beautiful blog. I never did journaling on gratitude. But I decided to make a habit of being grateful for the things I hadn't noticed before. It is a powerful experience, and very eye opening. And for years I had a peace I hadn't known before.

Brandy said...

Wow! What a beautiful and insightful post. Thank you!
I hope you have a pleasant day!

Deb said...

Marianne, I have this silly grin on my face just now. I'd never heard of a gratitude journal, or anything close, but what a simple, and powerful way to strengthen our positive thoughts.

As for me, tonight I'm grateful for
1 - The feel of the night breeze through the open window,
2 - A dear husband who grilled hamburgers so I could write, and finally,
3 - For the friend who sent me the link to your post!

Thank you!!! Now back to my book!

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Helen! Thanks for coming by :)

Yes, doesn't it just take remembering a few things each night to make a difference?

BTW, looking forward to reading Seduced in Seoul this week!!

Hugs,

Renee

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Tara,

Writing can certainly take its toll. And some days are harder than others in this business. I actually keep a folder/e-folder of all my "positives" when it comes to writing--i.e. great reviews, a wonderful reader e-mail, a note from my editor, etc.

This helps when the times are tough.

Thanks for commenting!

Renee

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Savanna!

So good of you to stop by! It IS a powerful experience. And it helps me unwind and get ready for whatever may happen the next day.

Thanks!

Renee

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Brandy! Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Renee

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Deb,

What a great list! I especially could use the one about the hubby who grilled the hamburgers so you could write!!

Thanks for stopping by to read my post!

Hugs,

Renee

Amy said...

Lots to think about, Renee. Thanks for sharing.

Renee Knowles said...

Thanks for stopping by, Amy!

Renee