day 1 – gratitude

Welcome to day one of 28 days of Self-Love.

Are you ready to cultivate the habit of Self-Love through creativity, breath, and gratitude? Well, you’re in the right place.

Maybe, like me, you never really learned the art of self-care or what it means to truly love yourself. Maybe you know you totally rock and how awesome you are right at this moment. Or maybe, you fall somewhere in the vast in-between. Wherever you are today is exactly where you need to be. So take a deep breath—

and let’s begin.


gratitude. |ˈɡradəˌt(y)o͞od|
noun
the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.” -Rumi

  • Music Inspiration:  Erik Satie – Gymnopédie No.1 

 

  • Day 1 Exercise: Streaming Gratitude

Find a comfy spot and grab your notebook. Write: I am grateful for…  at the top of a fresh page.

Now, focus on things in your life, personal or professional, that you are grateful for and begin a list. There is no right or wrong here. None too big or small. Just begin listing things: piping hot cup of morning coffee or tea, bluebirds at your window feeder, a kind word from a co-worker or friend, a morning cuddle from a child or loved one, etc.

You could set a timer for 3 to 5 minutes if you like more structure. As you get toward the end of the list more things will surface. Strive for 15-20 things you are grateful for.

When you feel you have reached a stopping point, choose the three items that you felt the biggest connection with; the three that made your heart swell. Those 3 are the ones for the creative part.


Additionally, you may incorporate this gratitude exercise into a daily routine, or even weekly. I’ve found that when I wake up, before I crawl out of bed, if I run a mental list of 3-5 things I am grateful for it helps to set the day on a positive note. Though, keeping a notebook of gratitude is wonderfully fulfilling, as well, and can be used for future creative inspiration. Even if only kept weekly.

 

  • Day 1 Create: 3 Line Poem

Take your top three items of gratitude and create a 3 Line Poem.  [If you know me, you had to know we would begin with Three Line Poetry.]  ;)

You can use all three things and turn it into one poem or alternatively, take each item and use it as the inspiration for three individual 3 Line Poems. If you are not sure what Three Line Poetry is, click the link to see more.

Keeping it simple: Three Line Poetry is typically unrhymed and contains three lines of concise verse. I try to keep mine under ten words per line. There is no specific syllable count. Brevity is key.

Try to use emotive nouns and strong verbs. Discard as many articles as possible. Evoke emotion in the reader by stripping away all the unnecessary words. Adverbs and adjectives are more powerful when used as salt on food, sparingly.

We love 3 Lines at Ink In Thirds. (Feel free to come participate each Thursday on the blog at Ink In Thirds)

 

Here is my creative work as a result of today’s exercise:

gratitude.
I am grateful for:
the sun’s warmth.
the kindness of strangers.
finches at my feeders.

3 Line Poems:
yellow palette sun
and moons of disillusion,
wonder slips between palms

I’ve been a stranger
in my own skin,
peeling flesh like an onion

finches at my feeders
startle like my heart
and Earth, she whispers secrets 

 

Another thing to keep in mind here: be true to you. Experiment and play. There is no right or wrong in creativity. Cultivating creativity is just like healing, you will try new things and you will change and grow, but you will still be you. I have always been drawn to the darker parts of the psyche and the whys and hows of the mind, body, and soul. Thus, I gravitate toward the darker side of prose and poetry. Healing does not necessarily mean rainbows and unicorns. It can. But you will not, typically, see rainbows and unicorns in my writing. That is me being true to myself and is not indicative of a lack of healing. When you finally understand who you are as an individual you begin to understand more about the world around you, and you learn that judgment is a sign of fear and a lack of self-understanding. Go gently and do you. Create the best version of you. xx

 

Love and Ink,
Grace


 

I invite you to share your poems in the comment section below or link to a blog or personal website. Read and comment on others. Introduce yourselves. Get involved. I’m excited to see what all you lovely souls have created. A few other pointers to keep in mind:

  • Do what you can each day.
  • Go at your own pace.
  • Maybe, you don’t pop back in to post stuff here until the next day. That’s okay too.
  • There is no right or wrong here.
  • Do the exercises and then create at your own pace.
  • The personal part of this journey is what you explore and uncover through each of the exercises.
  • Don’t fret about the creative segments; they should be fun.

I am grateful for each of you who have decided to join me on this journey of 28 days. Now smile for all your gratitude and the creativity you’ve cultivated today! See you back here tomorrow with another day of Self-Love.

64 thoughts on “day 1 – gratitude

  1. Thank you once again for setting this up mate. I had a great time with this prompt. I normally either type straight or write longhand on scraps of paper to transcribe later, and for this I was thinking of getting a fancy little notebook to work in. But I decided instead on one of the spare exercise books my students use, so that I can sprawl across the page, crossing things out and scribbling and editing on paper properly.

    I must admit when I first read the email announcement about these prompts it was bleary eyed as I had just woke up, and it wasn’t until about the fourth or fifth person I told that I realised what the topic would be. I know it has gave a few people pause when they read it, and I at first thought I would be publishing everything (after revisit and editing it again, of course), but now am not so sure. Perhaps instead later I will write about the process instead, and just a few excerpts.

    Finally, I am very glad that it started out with Three Lines, it’s an auspicious start (if you go for that sort of thing)!

  2. Grateful for you
    Reading my thoughts
    Pencil into digital words

    Rounding the curve
    Road shows me
    Daybreak–neon pink

    I drink words
    Com textured color
    Dine with mind expressed

  3. [I’m here on Day 1…]

    “I opened my cage”

    and a flock of birds flew
    into your dreams
    kissing you for me

    how did it go?
    feet plinking new ground
    past that stretch of Big Sur coast

    we cuddled there
    because we could be warm
    despite sunlight somehow waning

  4. A poem from a non-poet :)

    I am grateful for:
    The winter sun
    A Blue Moon
    Legs that carry me for miles

    3-line poem
    Winter’s sunlight
    warms the snow’s wet blanket
    revealing a mosaic tapestry of forest leaves

    January’s Blue Moon
    interrupts my sleep, nestles my neck
    Kindles a fire of memories purposefully forgotten

    Runner’s legs carry me
    Clydesdale limbs maintain a staccato cadence
    Trying to catch my undying lover’s heart

    Thank you for this wonderful prompt, Grace! You have a lovely page :)

    1. I am just at the beginning of my running habit, so I love that last one, especially. I don’t listen to music when I run, just the staccato cadence of my feet. Wonderful.

  5. I thought I might fall on the first day, but have found a quiet moment to ponder gratitude. I haven’t quite decided or how much, or where I will share, but for today I have these:
    I am grateful for smiles from strangers, parks on my doorstep, two beautiful sons.

    Smiles, like seeds
    Take root,
    Sprout green shoots and grin.

    Air whispers through leaves
    Soft as thistledown
    Scattering light.

    Boys! Fighting and quarrelling
    Grumbling and laughing,
    Always bringing joy.

    Denise x

  6. I am grateful for:
    jokes that make me really laugh.
    a home to come home to.
    sunshine that sneaks through cracks.

    3 Line Poems:

    The good ones sneak up on you
    and give you a squeeze
    that administers healing

    A house with a red door
    is nothing special
    until you walk in

    In the darkest places
    light has a way of sneaking in the cracks
    of my broken heart

    Thanks for this wonderful prompt Grace,
    Looking forward to more good stuff,
    Louisa

  7. Grace,
    I usually do not pause during my days to think about me, or explore my inner self. I did at one time but now I sit to much, watch too much TV, or read to many books and “ things!”

    So thank you for forcing me to institute a “pregnant” pause again.

    I’m grateful for:

    I painted today
    Love in all hues,
    It surrounded me with vibrancy.

    All knowing black fur
    She waited for me
    Now we explore our infinity.

    Two heartbeats within me.
    I, a mere vessel
    Growing two wondrous flowers.

  8. I’m grateful for

    Laughter
    Nature
    Experience
    Acceptance
    Life

    Laughter and nature
    refreshes and replenishes
    my inner health and soul spirit

    Experience requires self
    acceptance, allowing me to live
    life with a full heart

    Listening not talking
    giving not expecting
    expressions of gratitude

  9. I so hope I can finish this and make a habit of it – thank you Grace for bringing this into being.

    My three chosen articles of gratitude (obvious when I think about my writing),

    1. Water and the sea
    2. Colour and rainbows
    3. Kindness and honesty

    My three pieces of creativity:

    Swelling surges from a chaotic deep
    Whipped lashing, snarling at a storm’s rage
    Returning to calm as far as can sea

    Unveiled magic
    Realised in moments
    You have to look for, to see

    Falling into comfort
    Enfolded by white cloudy sheets
    Of honesty & love meeting peace

  10. I’m grateful for Cooper my furball
    his cold wet nose on my cheek each morn
    I’m grateful to feel at all

    Trying to pause because Grace you’re an inspiration and Soulhearts is my best friend, can’t disappoint the lady. Thank you for this. I will try to catch up.

    1. Aww Firdaus. No, do it for you! You deserve the self love. We all do. It will be worth the journey. We’ll pull through till the end. ❤️

    2. There are no real rules here. Go at your own pace, but Soulhearts is right: Do this for you, dear one. You’re an inspiration to many and your words touch more than you know. xx

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