Gratitude makes everything better

BlueberriesMy first thought this morning:

“I love my eye-mask.”

I don’t normally use one at home, but I was so happy I brought it with me on my trip to Gothenburg this weekend. (I’m here as a DJ at a blues dance event.)

I’m known as a late night DJ, so often I won’t start until 2am or even later. Last night I finished at 4.05am. By the time I’d packed up and said good-night to my friends it was more like 5am. After I got back to the apartment where I was staying and drunk some tea, it was nearly 6am.

It’s bright in Sweden. I was glad I’d packed my eye-mask.

My gratitude habit

Since I started my self-journal back in November, I’ve focused more on gratitude than I ever have before. It has been part of my morning and evening routine. Twice a day I write down 3 things I’m feeling grateful for.

I can’t say I love the word gratitude. It’s not a word that I naturally use in my everyday conversation.

I’ve long been an appreciative and thankful kind of person but since making gratitude a daily practice, I’ve noticed that I feel happier and more satisfied with my life in general.

Gratitude on repeat

Some days I feel like I am just writing on repeat, but other times I find myself thinking of something that previously I would have taken for granted but now I genuinely feel much more appreciation for.

Typical things I write on my gratitude list:

  1. My warm home.
  2. My comfortable bed.
  3. My cup of tea.
  4. My new jeans.
  5. My family.
  6. My work.
New awareness

This weekend is the first time I have travelled away for blues dancing since I started my journal.

I noticed that I have felt thankful for many things that previously I might not have paid so much attention to:

  1. Champagne on the flight. My friend Pete was travelling business class on the same flight but we weren’t sitting together. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the flight attendant appeared with a small bottle of champagne on a tray for me. It was so lovely of him to arrange that for me.
  2. 7 hours of DJ time. I love to play but this is a lot of time on the decks! It’s encouraged me to find time to tidy up my music folders and gives me a chance to stretch my wings and try out some new material.
  3. My friend Annette. She lives in Germany so we don’t get to hang out too often. It’s been lovely to spend time together and catch up on our news.
  4. My hosted apartment for the weekend. It’s a calm and welcoming space.
  5. Having a bath. (We only have a shower at home.)
  6. Eating fresh blueberries for breakfast.
  7. My friend, musician Christoffer Johansson. He plays beautiful music to listen and dance to. I interviewed him for my blues blog almost 2 years ago and he recently asked me to help him decide on the running order of the music on his new CD. He gave me a gift of the CD yesterday and told me that the music was in the order I suggested.
  8. Dancing. Being part of a community where dancing is a normal means of expression gives me great joy.

All of these things are special, and I feel that my gratitude practice has helped me feel extra happy and relaxed this weekend.

Reflection

It’s almost time to start a new Self-Journal. Last week I spent a few hours looking through my current one and making lists. Insights, things that have gone really well, all the things I’m grateful for.

I realised the thing I’m most thankful for is the habit of gratitude.

 

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