If you want to change your state of being, start to be grateful. — Oprah Winfrey
Ever since Oprah started talking about gratitude, the world’s been catching on to the secret energy that can change everything.
If you’re ready to up-level your gratitude journal and infuse it with even more goodness, here’s a writing practice that will do that!
“Okay, now that we’ve made our list of things we’re grateful for, it’s time to make a love list.”
I was sitting in a local workshop I teach called Writing as a Path to Healing and the participants had just done a “speed journaling” exercise where we write as fast as possible for five minutes. The assignment was to make a list of things we were grateful for. Next up was love.
“Now I want you to do the same thing, but this time it’s a love list,” I said.
“A love list?” One of the gals asked, “You mean people or things we love?”
“Actually, tonight, we’re going to concentrate on feelings,” I said. “So, what I want you to do is write down a list of what you love feeling. For instance, ‘I love feeling inspired to write’ is one of mine.”
She nodded at me.
I went on to explain that I wanted them to tap into the feelings they love to feel. The feelings that really turn them on or light them up. The feelings they feel when they’re floating on cloud nine, or the joy-dial is turned all the way up. “We’re so good at the suffering,” I reminded them. “It’s time we give ourselves permission to move to the other end of the spectrum and play over there a while.” I finished as I set the timer on my iPhone for five minutes and got ready to write.
“Remember,” I repeated the writing instructions I’d rehearsed for the weeks prior, “No rules, just write. Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar or even finishing sentences. Just write as fast as you can until the timer goes off.” I’d been helping them with a form of writing I call “Free” writing, where you try not to censor yourself or let anything get in the way of bringing your soul to the page through your pen.
“Okay, pens up!” I said as the timer rang. I heard a sigh from one participant as I lifted my eyes and saw another one continuing to write furiously. I love the way the flow of this writing inspires people. I love the way they tap into something bigger and it takes them over.
Every single class I’ve taught has proven that when we allow the words to come from the heart and soul to the pen, a little healing happens.
When I look back at my own journaling practice and the books I scribbled in since I was fifteen, I realize what was happening on those pages. Having a safe, nonjudgmental, uncensored place to tell my stories, secrets and burning desires was necessary. Having a place to sort out my thoughts, write my poems, make my lists of to-dos and my charted-out goals – it was how I created my life.
The love list is an exercise I developed during the creation of my workshop.
Its purpose is to help people flip the switch from their wounds, pain, inner critic and disappointments to something that better serves the life they crave; that inspires their fiercely alive whole self.
So, why don’t you grab a notebook and pen and try it out for yourself! Set a timer for five minutes and write a list of ways you love to feel. Try not to censor yourself here. No rules, just write. Do it now. I’ll wait!
Okay, here’s the next step.
Take your list and read it out loud. Give those high-vibe love feelings a voice and speak it out loud. Allow the words to come from your heart to your tongue and feel them buzz through your throat as you give birth to them. If it’s not out loud, it’s not real. Speaking your love and gratitude out loud is how you supercharge the energy and vibration of the lists you make and breathe life into them.
“I love feeling inspired to write,” I began when nobody else offered to share their list right away. “I love feeling turned on. I love the feeling of the cool breeze on my skin on a hot summer day. I love feeling empowered to share my stories. I love the feeling of knowing I was meant to help the world heal.”
It’s hard not to feel the supercharged, creative energy when you hear someone speak their love out loud. It’s hard not to be caught up in it, for it to feel contagious. And isn’t that the whole purpose of this thing we’re doing here; to spread our gratitude, joy, and love through the world? I think so.
So, carry on with your love list and let’s take this whole thing to the next level of goodness.