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The Quest for Inner Peace: Gratitude Journaling

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Happy 2014, loves! I took a mini vaca from blogging to enjoy the holidays, spend time with family and (gasp!) just BE STILL. If you know me, you know the act of being still is much easier said than done but I did it! Now that the holidays are a wrap and 2014 has arrived, many of us are looking for ways to become this NEW and improved version of ourselves. While I believe in the power of new year resolutions, I’ve never really been one to create them. Let’s be real, on January 1st this list of things we’ve resolved to do looks and sounds good, but by January 15th we’re back to our same old habits. Instead of stressing myself to become this totally different person overnight, this year I’m committing to just ONE thing and that’s the quest for inner peace. Life is such an emotional roller coaster. In the past few months alone I’ve experienced both significant highs and tear-inducing lows. My goal now is to find that delicate balance between inner peace (meaning, my entire being is not “shook” over each and every disappoint) and being human (giving myself the time to react, deal with the feelings, process and move on). As I put some thought into the concept of “inner peace” I realized that a huge component is understanding that no matter what happens in life, I am BLESSED. We tend to forget this when life throws us a curve ball (or two) and we begin to place more focus on what’s not right or what could be better.

Starting today, I’m directing my energy towards the many things I have to be thankful for as the first step towards this quest for inner pace. Why not? There are great social, psychological, and physical health benefits that come from giving thanks. The most popular practice is to keep a “gratitude journal” which I started just this morning. The simple act of writing down the things for which we’re grateful reaps countless benefits including: better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, and more happiness among adults and children alike.

The basic practice of gratitude journaling is pretty straightforward. I’ve dedicated one of my favorite notebooks to this and will jot down five things each morning for which I’m grateful. The entries will be brief—just a single sentence—and they’ll more than likely range from the mundane (“waking up this morning”) to the sublime (“the generosity of friends”) to the timeless (“the musical talents of Stevie Wonder”). I’ll start each and every morning off this way in hopes of setting the tone for the next 24 hours.

Do you keep a gratitude journal? If so, how has it helped you on your quest for inner peace?

This post is dedicated to my Virgo sis, Miss Ellisa Oyewo

As a New York City storyteller, filmmaker, digital content creator, and PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

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