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Who knew a sticker-covered book would start me on this journey?
I was digging through our flat files one afternoon when I came across a small booklet. The sight of it immediately brought a smile to my face. It was completely covered with stickers from fruit I had eaten.
Opening the pages, I entered into a world I had forgotten. Tiny sketches of my life in Los Angeles filled the pages. At the time, I had been planning a trip to visit my family for Christmas. This tiny book chronicled my excitement as the day drew near.
One thing I noticed in that book was the joy. I couldn’t help but smile as I flipped through the pages. How had I forgotten these moments?
It had been over ten years since I finished that book. Was that why I had forgotten?
I began to realize the somber truth. I had no problem remembering the negative experiences in my life. I could remember with clarity the mean girl in fourth grade but struggled to remember the good from 24 hours ago.
Studies have proven we tend to hold onto the negative and forget the good, but what kind of life is that?
We all know life has its ups and downs. There are going to be awesome moments right along with the bad times.
When we allow our natural bent towards negativity to hold the reins in our lives, it can be kind of depressing. We feel like failures. And, because we feel so cruddy, we can continue that cycle by stoking the negativity flames.
But when you start recording the happy things in your life, your life begins to change for the good.
As I fingered through that small journal, I began to wonder. I needed to get back into this daily habit.
I had stumbled upon this method years ago, in a most unlikely place. If I could find the joy in that situation—and there had been joy!—I could find the joy in the daily moments in my life.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not typically a happy-go-lucky person.
I share this because I can say keeping a happy journal has helped me. It has shown me how beautiful my life is, that it isn’t a tangle of decisions and self-doubt and trying to figure out who I am.
There are joyful moments in each day, if I take a minute to notice them.
For years I looked for a solution to be more present in the moment, instead of forever wishing for the next big thing. I wanted to enjoy where I was rather than straining ahead to the prize that felt like it would never come.
My happy journal is the answer to that problem . . .
(This is an excerpt from my book, Happy Journal, Happy Life. Get it on Amazon by clicking here!)