It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.
I will be teaching a yoga workshop on February 7th from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm at Tranquil Space Bethesda called "Gratitude as an Attitude." The workshop will offer a one hour all-levels yoga practice and two hours devoted to creating an eco-chic gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is a tangible way to count your blessings and shifts your thinking to the positive, rather than the negative. Daily, write down 5 things that you are grateful for before you go to bed. Some days it will be the basics, health, loved ones, chai lattes, and other days it will be the littlest of things that sends your heart into song.
Keeping a gratitude journal offers numerous benefits such as better sleep, less stress, more optimism, help in goal attainment, and better physical health. I am incredibly blessed, yet for some reason I constantly forget that. So I, too, will be working on fostering gratitude this year to remind me of the wonderful things that surround me in my life.
In preparation for the workshop, and to inspire me, I created a gratitude "album" of sorts to highlight the things that have been most meaningful for me. This project below is a bit more extensive than what will be created in the workshop (due to time constraints) but the core concepts will be the same. I love creating things out of reusable, recyclable (and cheap!) materials and that is what makes the album eco-chic! The gratitude journal at the workshop will be a cover, like below, decorated with personal photos and embellishments, and have paper sheets inside to be used more like an actual journal.
The album pages below are created from newspaper, inspired by a project from the lovely Donna Downey. Just tear up several sheets of newspaper and using a regular glue stick, glue several sheets on top of one another. Once they are completely dry, they will harden and create a wonderful blank "canvas" for you. I painted on top of the newspaper using white paint (you could also use gesso if you want the newsprint more covered). Gesso also creates a nice thickness to the newspaper, making it sturdier. To decorate, I used all things I had laying around, chipboard letters and stickers and ribbon and magazines and bits torn from greeting cards, etc. Think outside the box and re-use stuff that's free or very inexpensive!
This is the cover. By the ampersand it says "love and beauty." And written in gold pen is the quote listed at the beginning of this post.
Grateful for my Husband. Journaling is written on a plain notebook piece of paper and glued onto the page.
Grateful for my son.
Love creating in all forms.
Yoga truly is my salvation. So grateful to be both a student and a teacher.
So grateful for my Mom, my biggest fan...right, Mom? I re-used the front of a card that was given to me (by Curly Girl Design) and when you lift it up, you see below:
And the last page is just a list of all the things that I feel grateful for (of course it's not all-inclusive!)
I hope this inspires you to think about what you are most grateful for, and if you are in the DC area I'd love to see you at my workshop on February 7th!