A few years ago I read something about a gratitude jar. I loved the idea and started one at the 1st of January the following year. It was a big glass jar. Every evening before I went to sleep I wrote something down that I was grateful for that day.
Some days I couldn’t choose, because the day was filled with nice and good things. Other days I really had to think hard to think about one possible thing to write down. No matter what kind of day it was: I always wrote something down. It would vary from being grateful for a lovely time with a friend, seeing beautiful clouds, having a good meal, doing nice work, reading an interesting book: it could be anything.
At the end of that year I emptied my jar and read all my little papers. It felt so good to do that. The joy of having 365 little papers, 365 memories of things, situations and memories that made me grateful.
A very interesting side-effect of collecting those papers in a glass jar is that I could see the jar filling up. So even looking at the jar and seeing all those papers, made me already more happy, grateful and thankful.
Another interesting side-effect was that it made me realize what really made me happy in my life. The year before I stopped my own enterprise I already noticed that I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I did the years before, because my work was hardly ever mentioned on one of my papers.
This year I emptied my jar in August, just before I left my home and was getting rid of lots of stuff, to do voluntary work for a while in Ireland. (read here how that came about). And a few months ago I missed my jar. So I took an empty jar and started again.
In a few days I will empty it and look back at my time here in Dzogchen Beara. And look forward, to who knows what kind of adventures and meetings in the next year.