“What Went Well” is a gratitude exercise also known as “Three Blessings.” The idea is that on a regular basis, daily or weekly, one lists three things that went well, and why. (Adding “why” allows one to pinpoint times when acts of one’s own or others contributed to what went well). When I started this blog, while recovering from a broken bone, and during a very stressful period at work, I posted my three blessings weekly, on “What Went Well Wednesday.” I still pause regularly to count my blessings, but I no longer post them. However, a reader recently suggested that I do so again, so here is the year-end wrap-up of “what went well” in 2017! Please feel free to chime in with your own!
- I was able to avert a dreaded change in my workplace, that would have had me report to a colleague who has been undermining me for several years, thereby putting my job at risk. This was possible because a new chief executive arrived before that change was made, who had known me, my good work, and excellent reputation for many years — and because I mustered the courage to speak to him candidly about it, so he reversed the plan of the outgoing leadership. My work life now feels less stressful and insecure than it has for several years.
- In the face of loss, this year’s deaths of my mother and my husband’s, our extended families were drawn together and supported each other better than might have been expected. Because we made the effort to recognize each adult child’s different experience and grief, and responded to each other with gentleness and empathy.
- Our three children continue to delight us with their growth, resilience, gifts, and love. Because all three have faced various challenges endemic to adolescence and young adulthood with grace, humor, kindness, and perseverance.
I don’t normally post much or speak much about faith, because that is such an individual matter for every person: whether or not one has faith, and how one chooses to honor or express it. In the Lord’s house, there are many mansions. I am also frankly horrified at the misuse of religion to justify the unjustifiable, such as cruelty to others and a domineering will to power regardless of others’ beliefs. It often seems that those who are most outspoken about their own religion are most intolerant of others’, and I want no part of that. However, I pause now to note that my own faith (progressive mainstream Protestant Christian) and our family’s worship community, filled as it is with kind, intelligent, thoughtful, decent people, who try to make the world a better and more beautiful, charitable place, have been especially important to me this year. I take comfort in knowing that our mothers’ long illnesses are over, and that they have been restored to their best essence. So I’ll wrap up my year-end three blessings with my favorite prayer, from the end of each Sunday’s service:
Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
May we all enjoy a peaceful, happy 2018! What went well for you this year?
by Linda Ryan Now and then there comes a moment when time seems to stop, even for the merest fraction of a second, and in that fraction of a second something becomes so clear that it’s almost heartbreaking. It happened to me the other morning when I went to feed the outside cats. It…
via Speaking to the Soul: The Scent of Gratitude — Episcopal Cafe
I loved this reflection on scents and being thankful for them. As we’ve just passed Easter, I want to add how thankful I am for the abundance of flowers that my fellow parishioners provide every year to celebrate it, and the remarkable skill and love with which they arrange thousands of fragrant lilies, roses, hydrangeas, tulips and flowering branches. To be surrounded by so many gifts is indeed cause for thanks!
What went well this week:
- My son’s football team won their first game of the season! This is a big deal because they are in middle school and did not win a single game last year. They won because they have been working hard, including in some new positions, and did not allow themselves to become discouraged.
- I am making progress in physical therapy. Because I have a terrific physical therapist and I am pushing myself to do the exercises as often and as far as possible.
- I got great advice from one of my oldest friends. Because she is wise, and kind, and she cares deeply about me.
Have a serene week, everyone!
One of the tags I follow is “Perfume”. I have always loved perfume and even saved up my money in eighth grade to buy my mother a small flacon of Chanel No. 5, her signature perfume. An early memory of mine is sitting on her bed watching her get ready to go out with my father, as she sat at a real dressing-table whose lid, when lifted, revealed a mirror and a deep compartment filled with mysterious bottles of fragrance, lotion and makeup. I am firmly convinced that scent and fragrance can help transport us to a different (better?) state of mind, as the sense of smell connects to the most primitive, unconscious parts of the human brain, the ones that process emotions and memories. Let’s use that power for good! Serenity now!
Today, another blog featured a subscription service called “Scentbird.” I loved that name so much, I had to read more just to find out what it was. Turns out it is a service where you pay a monthly fee to receive a decanted sample of a different named fragrance each month. This has clearly been given a lot of thought; subscribers get a special container to hold their samples, which come in small glass vials. Very creative! I had heard of another subscription for beauty supply samples — “Birchbox” — but not for fragrance. Where do they get these great names, by the way?
Anyway, Scentbird also has a blog where contributors comment on various fragrances: Scentbird. And today’s post included a fragrance I just tried myself in a store and liked very much: Hermes Jour d’Hermes. The blog aptly describes it as taking its wearer into a beautiful garden — and you know how much we love gardens here at Serenity Now. It was very appealing, with its white florals, green notes, sweet pea, citrus and water notes. And yes, it made me feel more serene.
Next up for me to try: Hermes Jour d’Hermes Absolu, pictured above with my favorite roses!
About me and my blog: I am a lover of beauty, a happily married introvert, an empath and INTJ. I have an inquiring mind and thousands of books. Many things make me happy. I’d like to share some of them.
Mindfulness is something I am trying to cultivate in my life. There are many competing claims on my time and attention: family, work, etc. As my children are now in their teens, I am working to carve out some time for peaceful reflection and creativity in my life, in spite of a demanding, sometimes pressured job. Blogging is one way for me to do that. I am also using this blog to cultivate positive thoughts through practices like “What Went Well Wednesdays”, when I write down three things that went well that week.
I also blog about gardens, gardening, garden books, art in gardens and garden photography at Old Herbaceous.