Happy New Year!  It’s amazing how fast this past year has flown.  And I don’t know where the time has gone, because I spend a lot of time doing, well, not a heck of a lot – having made the decision to make life a priority over business (or should I say, busy-ness) this past year.  But, although the year has still flown by, I can say that this year is one where I have enjoyed a lot of free time, more energy to devote to my own practice, and a great deal more awareness of how grateful I am for this beautiful life.

One of the techniques that I used this past year is a Gratitude Jar, which I shared with you on January 1 of 2013 and have been practicing the whole year.  The process is simple, you take an empty jar and each day (or each time you are feeling grateful) you write down what you are grateful for and pop it in the jar.  And, my jar runneth over this year with all the things I am grateful for in my life- my family, my husband, walks in nature, a wonderful career, good health, and most recently my dog has featured strongly in my moments of gratitude.  So, during the holidays I’ve decided to take out each slip of paper and make a journal of all of those grateful moments that I have enjoyed over this past year.

My grandmother always wrote a journal at the end of each year, and I love this process of reflecting on the past year, and setting goals for a new year, (read about Grandma’s journaling here), but this year I will be adding these slips from my gratitude jar, so that no matter what chaos ensues over the next year – and let’s face it – life never really goes to plan, I can look back and remember how deeply I felt for the warmth of the sun on my skin, a hug from my husband, or for having legs strong enough to carry me up the hill every morning.  My hope is that bringing myself back to the simplicity of these things will help me to deal with any circumstances that might come along this year.

So, if you joined me this past year with a Gratitude Jar, perhaps you’ll join me in taking some time to empty it out, read your notes, and celebrate all the things you are grateful for in your life.  Write it out in a journal, make a collage, or take some time in meditation to enjoy a year of beauty, wonder, and moments of greatness.

Then, we can start fresh for 2014 together with empty jars, and hopeful hearts for another magical year – welcome to 2014!

Wishing you all a very happy and hopeful New Year!

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