“…there is always a moment of grace or kindness or relief or humor or courage or a good cup of coffee or a sympathetic friend…or something that momentarily pierces the gloom.”–Elizabeth Gilbert

Happy New Year!

Yes, the holidays are over and the annual scramble of clearing the decks is in full force. And like a scene out of Groundhog Day, the internet is abuzz with just about every possible inspirational ritual, diet, and practice to get us back on the proverbial wagon.

Not a bad thing at all. It’s just that we keep forgetting. When it comes to stress and stuff, it is easy to get lost in the fray; to forget our pure intentions to live a kinder, clearer, and happier life.

If you could use a little assist in remembering, here is an elegant and simple daily practice that can bring you back. It comes from author Elizabeth Gilbert (see below). Basically all you need for it to work are these ingredients:

  • a big jar, box, or container of some sort
  • bits of paper on which you write down happy highlights of your day, every day
  • your willingness to play

When you feel discouraged, lost, or depressed, just reach in the jar and pull out a nourishing nugget of hope and inspiration.

What is one thing, thought, person, or memory that makes you smile? What lights you up? What makes you feel peaceful, easeful, joyful? Write it down and put it in your jar.

And if you’re game, tell us in the comment thread. We could all use a hit of joy that lifts the spirit and lightens the load.

Happy clearing!

Can’t see the photo below? Click here (or the “For Better Viewing” link above)

Dear Ones: Every year around this time, I post something about my Happiness Jar. This is a practice I have kept up for years: At the end of each day, I take a scrap of paper and I write down the happiest moment of the day…and then I put it in the jar. That’s it. It takes 30 seconds. When I’m feeling depressed, I reach my fist into that jar and pull out a handful of happiness from over the years, just to remind myself of the miracle of my own life. And I can always find a happiest moment of the day… Even on horrible days, there is always a moment of grace or kindness or relief or humor or courage or a good cup of coffee or a sympathetic friend…or something that momentarily pierces the gloom. I know that many of you have started this habit over the years, too! Today, on your own Instagram feed, post pictures of your happiness jars, and use this hashtag: #happinessjar. Let’s flood the Internet with stubborn gladness today, and set the tone for the rest of the year… #onward

A photo posted by Elizabeth Gilbert (@elizabeth_gilbert_writer) on

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Showing 5 comments
  • C. Overink

    Thank you so much for sharing these nuggets of wisdom!

  • Christi Herrick

    I was thinking just last night about getting one of these started…now is the time! I was out walking the dog, with the temperature down in the single digits and the humidity way up high and I was so happy, thankful and blessed by the fact that there was no wind blowing so we were able to stay out for the full 30 minutes that makes the dog happy and gives me some exercise too. There’s always, always, always something to be thankful for!

  • Judy Keneipp

    This is a true principle. I didn’t do it for myself but for my husband – 60 positives he generates – and gave him the jar for his 60th birthday. He got a smaller jar so that he could read and recycle the bits of joy!

    Btw. The size of Sarah’s jar and her hugging it made me happy right there!!!

  • Judy Keneipp

    This is a true principle. I didn’t do it for myself but for my husband – 60 positives he generates – and gave him the jar for his 60th birthday. He got a smaller jar so that he could read and recycle the bits of joy!

    Btw. The size of Elizabeth’s jar and her hugging it made me happy righty there!!!

  • Premilla Pillay

    Love the idea of a jarful of joy! I won a beautiful basket in a lucky draw. It has a narrow neck and is in the shape of a round belly jar. Into this basket will go my joys, dreams and gratitude for 2017.

    Planning to gift myself with a copy of A YEAR TO CLEAR as a companion to YOUR SPACIOUS SELF.

    Grateful for our long standing connection, Stephanie.

    Love and best wishes to you and Elizabeth Gilbert.