From a Jar Full of Happiness to a Book Full of Goodness

How Small Pieces of Paper Led To My Participation In a Book

These seemingly unrelated events came together in a turn of events that makes my heart sing. Before I dive in to tell you about it, here's a little background information for you.

Being grateful is good for your health.

It makes sense intuitively and research backs it up. "Counting your blessings" or something similar practiced on a regular basis can, in fact, improve your health. Daily gratitude practices can lead to stronger immune systems, lengthier exercise sessions, and a generally more optimistic view of life.

How can you make a gratitude practice a regular part of your already jam-packed life? Shift out of busy-ness and take time to be in the moment with a Happiness Jar.

Simple + quick = easily incorporated into every day.

One idea that I've used personally for years for is the Happiness Jar*. Call it what you like: Moments, Joy, Gratitude...  whatever works for you. This is a lovely and easy way to cultivate gratitude. I love sharing the idea with others, including my health coaching clients. Friends and family have adopted the practice and that alone makes me VERY happy!

Take a small slip of paper and write down one thing (or more!) that you're grateful for. Record an unexpected moment of goodness that happened that day, a bit of natural beauty that caught your eye, something that made you smile.

Put your paper into a dedicated jar/vessel/basket. It can be fancy or plain; you can find lots of ideas and inspiration online.

There's no wrong way to do it -- make it fit your life and keep it simple and fun.

Our Happiness Jar from earlier this year.  Kathy Damas * Be Light Health Coaching

Our Happiness Jar from earlier this year. Kathy Damas * Be Light Health Coaching

Many people like to end their day with this practice.  Others make an entry when they get home from work. Some prefer to start the morning with a positive thought. There will be days you may have a single thing to write down, others you may have a whole list. And then there are *those* days when you may need to pull an entry and re-read it to boost your reserves. It's all good!  

When my husband and I began recording daily moments and gratitude I found myself paying more attention throughout the day, noticing things to record, enjoying the intention and the heightened awareness of being in the moment. Small things began taking on more significance and I was noticing the positives more often.

Where to keep it? Handy! Put it on your dining room table, or bedside stand. Keep a pen and pieces of paper nearby to make it even easier.

The Rewards of Reviewing

Part of the fun becomes the anticipation of remembering! We empty and review our jar's contents on New Year's Eve or Day. Try it as a new Thanksgiving tradition, or on your birthday each year. Again, make it work for you! 

It's incredibly powerful to be reminded of all the little things that happen during those "normal" days throughout the year that would have otherwise slipped by unnoticed or simply forgotten. In retrospect, you realize just how much of life is made up of those seemingly insignificant moments that are actually quite special.

Consider giving the gift of a Happiness Jar not only to yourself but to others. I invite you to play with this simple practice. May it bring you positive shifts as it has for me.

I believe that gratitude begets more gratitude. Noticing goodness begets more goodness.

Which brings me to my recently becoming a published author(!)

When I learned of--and acted on-- the opportunity to participate in "Goodness Abounds", a collaborative book about true moments of loving-kindness, my heart knew that it was a good fit for me to share positivity with the world.

Because who doesn't need more good things to be reminded of and to share?

I knew immediately which act of goodness I had witnessed and would be perfect to write about for this anthology. Later I received an act of loving kindness that I was also able to share. As you can tell by my description of the Happiness Jar, the notion that "Goodness Abounds" fits in perfectly with my personal way of being. It also aligns with my desire to serve and inspire others through my heart-centered health coaching practice. *Be Light* is not just my business name but my life motto, the way I want to show up in the world.

I secretly guarded my participation in the book for several months and publishing day terrified me. (A dear friend aptly calls this feeling "nervi-cited".) I'm thrilled to now be able to share this book with those who will appreciate the uplifting nature of all of the stories.

It has been an honor and a privilege to get to know the editors/publishers Jodi Chapman and Dan Teck, along with the hundreds of wonderful authors I've had the joy of connecting with. Months and months of sharing and caring have been poured into these pages. 

I hope that you appreciate knowing that such positivity exists. The fact that over 275 people would participate in bringing high-vibe true stories to this book speaks volumes.

May your day and heart be full. EnJoy!

In Gratitude, Love, and Light,


* I first read about the Happiness Jar concept many years ago on a Facebook post by the author Elizabeth Gilbert.