The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude by Sarah Ban Breathnach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. My opinions stated here are how I feel about the book.
This book is actually a companion to a book called Simple Abundance. I have not read that book. I am thinking of getting it. You do not need to read it to enjoy this book.
I have always been a grateful type of person. My experience with life has been more difficult than easy, starting in childhood and continuing through adulthood. I believe that when you are repeatedly hurt as a child you come to believe what you are told. You start to believe that you do deserve to be hurt. It can lead to a lifetime of pain. Unless someone steps in to teach you different, you most likely stay with what you know. You choose the type of people you are familiar with. I wanted different for my children. I actively choose everyday to do my best to show them they were loved and worthy of kindness. Unfortunately, I never felt that. So they were witnesses to the complete opposite of what they were getting. I know, now, how confusing that must of have been for them.
Somewhere in my childhood though, most likely through the books I read, (definitely Anne of Green Gables), I learned to be grateful for whatever good came my way. I learned that you can choose if that glass is half empty, half full or waiting to be topped off with something delightful. I learned that you can’t control how anyone treats you or what they say to you. You can, though, choose how you let it affect you. You can choose how you respond. That’s not to say it is easy or makes anything better. Some things hurt with a hurt so deep you absorb it even as you choose to respond with forgiveness or kindness. But you can still find little things to be grateful for. You may have to look hard at something you would rather bury deep inside but, if you do look, you will find it. That’s what this book is about. The challenge of finding five things, no matter how small, to be grateful for each day. You can go a step further and make that five things you have not written on any other day. That means you only get to say I’m grateful for health, family, friends, my pet, the sun, moon and stars one time in one year. The rest of the things must be different. This will prevent the book from becoming repetitive and force your brain to think positively in almost every situation.
The book starts out with words from the author. I found them realistic and inspiring. She then goes on to 150 Overlooked Blessings. I love this list. Yes, you can cheat and use this list to write on your paragraph. But it is only 150. You need 365 days of five not repeated blessings to be grateful for. That’s a lot. It might seem too much right now. All those months with the days listed and blank lines waiting for you. But as you go along, if you do this each day, you will find an odd thing happens. It becomes easier to find the blessing, the one tiny good thing in something horrible, the one thing you will choose to be grateful for. No. It doesn’t stop bad things from happening. You will still have unexpected things to get through. But you may find instead of a bad day, you now have had a bad moment. The day is still good. Tomorrow is still unblemished, a promise of deliciousness in waiting.
I find this book, with it’s monthly paragraph of inspiration and the scattering of quotes throughout, to be a good focus point. It encourages me and keeps me on track. The end of the book has lined pages eagerly waiting for your moments of happiness to be recorded. That is what we want, isn’t it? Happiness. Joy. Love. Kindness. They don’t need to be profound moments of great inspiration. A joke that made you laugh joyously and with abandon. A smile of understanding. A quiet moment of a shared burden. A surprise kiss. A flower picked for you. A poem that touched you. A song that had you dancing. Whatever it is that brought a moment of happiness, it was time well spent. Record it there.
* Thank you Goodreads, Grand Central Publishing, The Hachette Book Group and the author, Sarah Ban Breathnach for the opportunity to review and delight in this book. I shall put it to good use and I will use a gratitude space on you.
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