Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. You don’t need to worry about gifts or extraneous obligations, and all the focus is all on family, food, and all the good things happening in your life. In the United States, it’s also the most widely celebrated holiday across cultures and religions, so it always makes me feel closer to EVERYONE I see that week – like we are all gathered in this one singular purpose of love, gratitude, and stuffing our faces. We should collectively do that more often!
I was thinking, what would happen if you took a nudge from this wonderful holiday and got really focused on gratitude for the remainder of the year? What if you did one journal page a week focused on gratitude? What if you did one a day? How would that impact your outlook? Your perspective? Your mood? As noted in The Breathing Project’s video in my last post, there is a lot of research pointing to the fact that we find what we are looking for: if we look for the negatives, we will find them, and if we look for the positives, we’ll find them too.How could focusing on gratitude shift things for you? #gratitudejournal Click To Tweet
Here’s a few ideas on art journaling prompts for gratitude:
- Shared Thanksgiving journal: Make several messy backgrounds as explained in this post, and use one page for each family member to record one thing for which they are most grateful. Pull it out every year and enjoy reading past years’ thanksgivings.
- Thanksgiving mandala: Draw a series of concentric circles and in each circle record a thanksgiving.
- Gratitude topics: Journal or draw about a skill you possess, someone who made a difference in your life, a life-changing moment, or a hard-won, but valuable lesson. You might also make a list of your thanksgivings about friends, work, health, family, or the beautiful things in your environment. You can draw on the past or present, and simple or complicated things.
- Draw a symbol of gratitude: Draw a symbol that means peace, gratitude, growth, or change for you. For example, draw a tree, and in each leaf, write a thanksgiving. Alternatively, you could write everywhere on the page except for on the tree.
- Gratitude writing: Smear acrylic paint randomly across your page. Wrap your text around this splotch so that it creates a random, interesting pattern.
- Draw something for which you are grateful: Even if you are not a skilled illustrator, let your mind focus on the object, photograph, or person, and let drawing be an act of dwelling with your feeling of gratitude.
- Make a gratitude grid: Use squiggly lines to create a loose grid on your page. Write your thanksgivings in a random pattern inside the boxes. Use watercolors to highlight the boxes in different colors.
- Art making as a gratitude meditation: Before you begin, create an intention for the art. Close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and slowly welcome in a bit more stillness. As you find yourself dwelling in a slightly quieter internal space, create an intention to use today’s art making as a way to meditate on your blessings generally, or to be mindful and present of the gift of making art today.
And by the way, I’m thankful for you. As much as I’ve made it my job to inspire you, YOU inspire me just as much. Thanks so much for that.
How are you showing your gratitude this Thanksgiving? Have you ever kept a gratitude journal? Would you share what the experience was like in the comments? Also, if you like what you see, please remember to pass it on by sharing on social media!This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for the courage of artists everywhere. Thank YOU. #inspiration Click To Tweet