Practicing the Positive
by Beth Kozan
In last month’s post on THIS blog (September 3, 2015), I named three book titles that changed my life. I wrote, of the first book:
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I ordered the book and followed her plan to list five things you are grateful for before going to sleep. This easy-to-form habit induces peaceful sleep.
A simple act, naming five things to be grateful for, turned my life around! Previously I was prone (as many of us are) to lie in bed and ruminate over the things I didn’t get done, or the slight I felt when something went awry during the day. In other words, the negative. This led to tossing and turning and not sleeping well.
Naming five things to be grateful for builds an expectation for positivity, and I found it influenced the attitude I held to meet the next day.
For 10 years I faithfully bought the author’s special journal in which to write my daily gratitudes. One day, my daughter noticed the bookshelf with nine identical spines lined up in a row and asked how much I’d spent. I was a bit embarrassed to realize that it was around $100. Heather pointed out that I could write in a notebook I could buy for a quarter.
Since I retired from agency work seven years ago, I have less stress in my life. Having set the habit, I still recite in silence, five things I’m grateful for. Lots of times I fall asleep before I reach the number five. Tonight, I think my list will include … “I am thankful for the hummingbirds that entertain me at sunset … I am thankful for the pinks and purples of the day’s end … I am thankful for the warmth of my bed … ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz.
Beth Kozan is the author of the book Adoption: More Than by Chance and the forthcoming Helping the Birth Mother You Know. Beth worked in adoption for 35 years and retired to write. She has many more books than these titles to write and will emphasize and explore the concept of community in her additional books. “Growing up in a close agriculture-based, rural community in Texas, I felt the comfort and bonds of caring for others which is often missing in our busy lives today. Exploring and building communities for today is my writer’s goal.” Follow Beth on Facebook or visit her website, where she reviews books and films featuring adoption.