February's Gratitude

I started this year with a goal to actively practice gratitude (My goal with gratitude) and to reflect on it as best I can.  I started my gratitude journal, wherein I acknowledge daily what I am grateful for.  Right now, it's a series of statements (usually three) wherein I acknowledge my gratitude for people, opportunities, and privileges, etc that I have within my life.  

Word cloud of gratitude - february 2016
Word cloud of gratitude - February 2016

I've added to this by also reflecting on the whole of the month by seeing what filters through that journal into a word-cloud, giving light particular themes and ideas.  Here is what I wrote for January's Gratitude.  

Last month, I asked if people had their own ways of being grateful and how they did it.  I got a few recommendations from people.  Thank you to those that took the time to respond--I always appreciate when people engage with me here.  Though they were great, none of them clung to me, but I did end up adapting one into something that fit with me.  Around the third week of February, I had figured out what it is that I wanted to do.  Each week, I write a thank-you note to someone in my life or that has had a positive impact on my life.  I give thanks to people in a meaningful way and to people who might not have realized how they impact others lives.     

The purpose is just to thank them for the meaning they bring to my life and ask nothing in return.  In fact, I start all notes with the following:

"The following is part of a project that I'm embarking on. It is a process of giving thanks and being grateful for the many different people throughout my life. It does not require any response or reciprocation. I'm writing it to you, because you deserve being acknowledged for the meaning you bring to my life."
I'm finding it an interesting process.  There's the act of selecting the person each week, which takes time and reflection.  Then, there's the actual writing of the note and trying to say meaningful things without sounding overly repetitive.  

So far, I've sent out two notes.  Right now, because of time and aesthetic restraints (my handwriting is atrocious!), I'm using digital communication, but at some point, I would like to consider writing and sending these as cards.  In the meantime, I'll focus on the content rather than the form.

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