In the spring of 2008 I jotted this thought down on the inside cover of my well worn notepad. I carry it in my bag or briefcase wherever I go. I replace my small notepad every January. All during the year, it is my “Get Glad Notepad” (GGN).
My “GGN” is not my calendar or a personal journal or a to-do list (or smart phone) although sometimes I do jot down that I need to pick up milk at the grocery in it. For me, it is where I remind myself what I believe.
I don’t want to suggest that you stop using your smart phone to log & order your life; however, I want to encourage a limited return to old fashioned hand writing. There is therapeutic value & transformative power in hand writing. Hand writing is a slow process. It fosters meditative silence. It requires deliberate thought. It nurtures self reflection.
Here’s how you can Get Glad today (in only 4 short steps):
Go out to your nearest drugstore and buy a small, ring bound, notepad. They are sold with the school supplies. Pick a color that reflects peace and joy for you.
In your “GGN”:
- Document every day joys. Every time you hear something inspirational or your child or family member does something you want to remember in detail, scribble it down. One entry I recall from November 1, 2009. My 3 year old son looked at his younger brother and spontaneously and for the first time said, “I yuv you Wiyum.” (translated means “I love you William.”) I return to these handwritten entries often, and periodically consolidate them onto our “family calendar”, where I (yes, hand write) all our family memories. If the note is longer, I put it in a memory/keepsake box I have for each child.
- Start a Gratitude Journal. We tend to get mired down in “cup half empty” platitudes and latitudes. Every so often, make it weekly (or if you need it – daily!) make a list of 5 ways your cup is “half full.” Either tear it out of your pad and post it where you’ll see it daily OR keep it in your notepad and carry it around in your briefcase or handbag. Either way, revisit your list when you find your “cup is half empty.”
- Manifest your Blessings & Prayers
- Jot down your needs, hopes, prayers, or dreams.
- Date them.
- Revisit your list often.
- When your need or prayer has been met, date it.
- Revisit your list again, to be reminded of answered blessings and prayers.
- Re-evaluate your “needs” (are they needs or wants?) often, so they match your priorities.
Separate from your “GGN“, add the 4th step:
4. Send a note of encouragement to 5 people. Get out a pen, some paper, envelopes, and yes, buy some stamps. Through the power of the hand written word, lift up someone you care about or know that may be struggling. i.e. I have saved every hand written note my
grandmothers ever penned to me. Seeing their handwriting and words of encouragement bring me immeasurable comfort and encouragement.
Start today. Write down what you believe is True. Only then, can we be transformed.