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Your World View: Living Gratitude Series

IMG_2181 008Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you, Dorothy Johnson, from Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. I connected with her very recently via another blogger, Talya who you will ‘meet’ tomorrow. Dorothy’s blog is called Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge.

Thank you for your fantastic post, Dorothy.

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Your World View is part of the Living Gratitude Series

Windows on the World

This morning I awakened to a blast of winter. During the night, an Arctic cold front swept down upon us here in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, causing temperatures to plummet toward freezing. From my kitchen, which has a northern exposure, the world looked gray and forbidding. Even though I was snug inside, I shivered as I watched the wind lift and whirl leaves on my patio. I was glad I didn’t have to go out until noon.

Patio
A little later when I went to the front of the house, I was surprised find the room bathed in sunlight. The temperature was the same, but the scene was entirely different – one I hadn’t realized was there. Almost immediately, my mood lifted, and I didn’t mind venturing out to my meeting.

Upon reflection, I remembered that during this season, the sun doesn’t hit the back of the house until later in the day. Therefore, if I want to enjoy its warmth, I must go where it’s shining. I think the habit of gratitude is much the same. If we view the world through shadows and gloom, we’ll miss golden moments and small blessings just waiting to be recognized, even in the darker times of our lives.
Create a Record

Last fall I happened upon a Mary Engelbreit journal in the dollar bin at our Target store. I bought four – one for myself and the rest for gifts. It became my Gratitude Journal.

Every morning for over a year, I’ve recorded at least one thing for which I’m grateful on its pages. Sometimes I say thank you for a good night’s sleep. Other times I write about answered prayers, problems solved or kind words spoken. It sets the mood for the day, reminding me to look on the bright side, seek the good in whatever circumstances I may find myself.
Gratitude Journal 3 (1)

An Honest Look

I thought I was doing pretty well until this summer when my husband interrupted my complaining about something trivial at a restaurant. In his half-joking manner, he let me know he’d begun to expect me to be critical. It stung because it was true. Without realizing it, even though I was recording my gratitude list each morning, it didn’t always carry over to the rest of my day.
Since then, I’ve tried to stop complaining and instead express my gratefulness, even when things aren’t up to my expectations. Sometimes it takes effort, but I like myself better. And hopefully, I help someone else through a difficult day.

recite-22703-1438659599-alz4v4

Sharing Joy

Earlier this fall I attended a bloggers conference where we were invited to submit our names to be paired with a Gratitude Partner. Shortly afterward, I received the name and email address of a woman I’d never met. We began to correspond each evening to share four things we were grateful for from our day. It has become a process of cataloging small victories and comforts.

The biggest blessing of this gratitude-building exercise has been making a new friend. As we’ve exchanged our lists, we’ve also rejoiced with one another and expressed concern when days have been difficult. Rachel lives in Oklahoma and I’m in Arkansas, and even though we’ve never visited face to face, we’re connected by the World Wide Web, and I am grateful.

Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.

Dorothy

22 Comments

  1. richmiraclefiles richmiraclefiles November 18, 2013

    Hi Dorothy,
    Everytime i read something about gratitude my antennae are on alert.That’s because i believe in the immense power of gratitude.
    In fact i confess that the biggest contribution towrads human development and culture and refinement has been gratitude throughout history.Across the globe,across cultures.
    Your last paragraph about how you met with a friend through the power of sheer gartitude is testimony to this enormous potential.
    Thanks
    Mona

  2. Debbie Debbie November 16, 2013

    Nice to meet you, Dorothy! πŸ™‚ Great post and thanks for the reminder. I too am often hyper critical when things don’t meet my expectations. This is a good lesson to keep in mind and I will try my best to follow it. Cheers!

  3. Richa Singh Richa Singh November 16, 2013

    Dorothy I loved how honestly you accepted the shortcomings and showed us how to improve upon them. The picture of those withered leaves looks so pretty. I do believe that each one of us have it in us to grow as humans each day and gratitude is a must to facilitate that..

  4. G Angela G Angela November 16, 2013

    It was an inspiring post, glad to read this at the end of day, truly motivating, and full of insights. Loved your post, thanks for sharing !! never heard of gratitude partner… like the way it worked for you …

  5. Talya Tate Boerner Talya Tate Boerner November 15, 2013

    I’m grateful for our friendship, Dorothy:))

  6. Bindu Bindu November 15, 2013

    Lovely post, Dorothy!
    Gratitude journal is something I started several times and then dropped off, that is one thing I just have to do πŸ™‚

  7. Rekha Rekha November 15, 2013

    That was a beautiful post. Being grateful for every little thing you have or you get to enjoy. I loved the habit of recording one good thing every morning to set the mood for the day. πŸ™‚

  8. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando November 15, 2013

    Love this reflection on having an attitude of gratitude; keeping the journal is such a wonderful idea! So is having a gratitude partner to help you stay accountable.
    Thanks from a Georgia neighbor who truly enjoyed your post and knows what it’s like to be in that winter deep-freeze! πŸ™‚
    Blessings, Dorothy!

  9. Sugandha Sugandha November 15, 2013

    Amazing words to start the weekend. Something to think about. Tagging the post to think over it in peace.

  10. Diana Natasha Pinto Diana Natasha Pinto November 15, 2013

    Gratitude brings in a lot of peace and joy. It changes our lives. We need to be thankful for the little things we are blessed with. It’s a good idea to list out a few things which we can be grateful for everyday. The idea of a gratitude partner is quite different and unique. Thank you so much Dorothy for the inspiring post.

  11. Kalpana Solsi Kalpana Solsi November 15, 2013

    The idea of a gratitude journal is nice but a gratitude partner is wonderful. There is an interactive session when we talk/write to a human being and there is reciprocation from the other end. Hope this idea can be implemented.

  12. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | November 15, 2013

    Dorothy, I’m loving the idea of a gratitude partner – and seriously considering asking someone to be mine. Thank you for sharing this idea and your thoughts.

  13. Vidya Sury Vidya Sury November 15, 2013

    Dorothy, beautiful post. What I loved most was this: ” if I want to enjoy its warmth, I must go where it’s shining” I love how you connected this with Gratitude. Thank you – hugs!

  14. Dorothy Johnson Dorothy Johnson November 15, 2013

    I love this series, too, and am grateful to be part of it. Mary Engelbreit’s whimsical artwork and sayings always attract me. How wonderful to find one to turn into your Gratitude Journal!

  15. Cathy Graham Cathy Graham November 15, 2013

    Loved your post, Dorothy. I could relate so much to what you said about practicing gratitude and making an effort to keep having a grateful attitude even when everything isn’t up to your expectations. I can sometimes slip into a whiny poor me pity party mode and it ain’t pretty! Just ask the family!

    I need to remind myself I have lots to be grateful for. I love the idea of writing in the Mary Engelbreit gratitude journal. I love her drawings and always buy anything I see that has them on it. I found a journal with her pictures in it at the thrift store. I think I will do the same as you and use it for a gratitude journal. Her drawings make me feel grateful and happy and she loves positive and gratitude quotes as much as I do.
    What a great series this is! I agree! We can never get it reinforced enough that having gratitude and a positive attitude is the way to go.

    Cat

  16. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg November 14, 2013

    Oh yes, a gratitude journal is a great way to keep us in a thankful and positive state of mind, helps us to appreciate the little things around us which we take for granted! And when we re-visit some our older entries, we realize once again how fortunate we are! Thanks for a wonderful reminder, Dorothy! πŸ™‚

    • Dorothy Johnson Dorothy Johnson November 15, 2013

      I love to look back and see the many good things that have come my way. I appreciate your reading and leaving a comment.

  17. Aditi Aditi November 14, 2013

    This post was straight from the heart!! Loved it πŸ™‚ The idea of gratitude partner is brilliant!!

    Corinne I’m loving this series… I used to write a list of things I’m grateful for whenever I was low…and it really helped me feel good. From the 12th onwards thanks to your series I’m managing a daily gratitude journal…I know the power of this… Just hope I can continue with the daily list. Like you and your lovely guest bloggers have pointed out it’s only about making it a habit… πŸ™‚

    • Dorothy Johnson Dorothy Johnson November 15, 2013

      My gratitude partner has been a huge blessing. And if we miss days, we list twice the number of gratefuls the next time!

  18. Kathy Kathy November 14, 2013

    Your post makes my heart feel so light. I have went through several “blue” periods in life and it wasn’t until I realized that I could find blessings everywhere if I just quit being so gloomy that my attitude and outlook changed. Looking for the good and being thankful for it makes life so much better.

    • Dorothy Johnson Dorothy Johnson November 15, 2013

      I’m so glad to know my words lightened your day. It’s a daily challenge to look for the good, but I’m always glad when I do. Thanks for reading.

    • Dorothy Johnson Dorothy Johnson November 15, 2013

      I’m so pleased to know my words resounded with you. Some days can be a challenge, but a grateful heart can overcome the things that that seem insurmountable! Thanks for reading and commenting.

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