Day 15: #GratitudeWritingChallenge

What an amazing experience this #gratitudewritingchallenge has been! I am calling this challenge a complete success. I can’t believe it was only 14 days long. Lord, Almighty, it feels like an eternity! Honestly, it feels like I’ve been writing these daily gratitudes for months. And it seems impossible that what I gained from this exercise was planted, grown, and harvested in only 14 short days. Because of that, I can say it was totally worth it. It feels a bit like I’ve been on a spiritual retreat for the last two weeks, while still going to work, caring for and playing with my family, focusing on my health, etc. While I continued with my daily tasks, my view of life shifted in two profound ways.

While I was already viewing the world with a keen sense of observation and gratitude, taking the time to write about those observations seemed to knit everything together. It was almost like being able to see the bigger picture by zooming in on one area at a time – like portals. LOL! (I cannot believe I just wrote that, but I’m sticking to it. I’m going with the flow here!) I intentionally decided to write gratitude essays rather than simply jotting down a list of gratitudes each morning. Not that there is anything wrong with that, and I’m actually considering starting this practice, but my intention for this project was very specific in that I would deep dive into my experiences and insights.

The other shift that I didn’t notice until several days into the experience was how personal my gratitudes are to me. I began drawing comparisons to the world around me. I learned through this process that the things I am grateful for are not the same for everyone and what others might be grateful for are things I have no experience or knowledge of. It became a very uniquely personal journey that happened to be shared very publicly.

I never expected this to be such a rewarding adventure. I thought it might give me a chance to hone my writing skills after another hiatus. Ultimately, I think these posts have been subpar. But I honestly don’t care. I think that was something valuable I gained from this as well. While quality was important in the sense that my words mattered and they needed to make sense to the reader, the focus of the project was really more about what was going on in me and being disciplined about writing on a deadline, but I didn’t focus on the words themselves or sentence structure to convey my thoughts in the most eloquent way. Case and point, I referenced portals earlier in this post.

So, it’s obvious I’m incredibly grateful for this experience, but I’m also grateful it has come to an end. I’m a little sad, too, but I’m happy to have the gift of time back. I’m excited to shift gears and be able to focus on the next project in my queue, a non-writing project, that will benefit someone else. And I’m grateful to have the freedom, time, and flexibility to come back and write on other thoughts and social issues and maybe share an occasional bit of humor from the circus that is my life.

Be grateful. Be open. Be the light. Be love.
Nel Bell

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

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