The Key


Gratitude is the key which unlocks every door.

Opening to you a life of beauty

of happiness

and of peace.


© Julie Rehnelt 2014




It may seem a bit cliche to talk about gratitude with the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, but that makes it no less of an important topic to consider, and it is something which is always on my mind regardless of the time of year.

Since beginning this blog I’ve written about gratitude and thankfulness many times here.  There is one post in particular that expresses my thoughts and feelings on the subject quite well, and I thought I would link it on the end of this one for those of you who may want to read further.  But what I’d really rather do is share the whole thing again and attach it to the end of this one, so that’s what I’m gonna do instead.  Ordinarily, I might apologize to those of you who have been here with me a while and may have already read that post, but I’m not going to this time, because it’s always good to have a reminder about being grateful.  Even for myself.   😉


November seems like the perfect time to share with you about the thankfulness journal that I started a while back.  The concept of writing down the things you are thankful for each day is not new by any means, so I’m not proposing this is something I came up with entirely on my own, but nonetheless it is a wonderful practice and makes a huge difference in ones frame of mind, attitude, and sense of well being.

I have always been an optimistic type of person, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned a time or two before, and it usually comes quite easily for me to see the good in things.  I am often delighted and find joy in the very simplest of things, and I believe this has helped me tremendously as I’ve went through various things in my life, some of which have been very difficult.  You know how life is…

During times of trouble it’s sometimes a bit harder to find the joy, and what I’ve found is that as I force a shift in my way of thinking, the feelings seem to follow suit.  And one of the great ways of doing this is simply to look for things to be grateful for.  No matter what the circumstances are or the situation is, there is always something to be thankful for.

For me, just appreciating my five senses gets me every time.  All those “simplest” of things I mentioned that I find joy in are usually directly related to something I can see, hear, touch, smell, or taste.  Our five senses are so easily taken for granted, but if even one of them were to be absent it would make a huge impact in our lives.

One day when I was in a very dark place, I was sitting on my couch, ruminating on all of the horrible things that were going on in my life at that time.  I was repeatedly going over the list in my mind and spiraling further into a pit of despair; completely out of character for me, but like I said… it was a difficult time.  Anyway, as I was sinking deeper and becoming even more distressed, I happened to notice a candle that was burning nearby, and as I continued to stare at it, very quietly other thoughts started creeping into my mind.  I thought of how much I like candles, how warm and comforting they are, how pleasant the aroma of the wax is, as I watched the flame flickering I thought about the nice ambiance lighting candles give off.  And slowly a shift, I began feeling thankful.  Thankful for the light, the warmth, and the aroma of that candle, and then for the eyes to see, the nose to smell, and on it went.  Before long, I was feeling better, more positive thoughts and things I was grateful for came to mind, and with them little flickers of hope like the flickering of the candle’s flame.   Slowly I began to realize that what I was going through was only temporary, that it won’t always be that way, that “this too shall pass.”  No idea where that quote is from, it’s just something my dad used to say.

And so it goes… shifting your way of thinking, and being grateful even for the simplest thing, like a candle, can lift your spirits and help put the things in your life into a better perspective.

I don’t usually have a problem finding things to be grateful for, it’s quite often the exact opposite for me, so in my case with my thankfulness journal I wanted to slow it down and really focus on just one thing each day, to take the time to give that one thing enough attention to allow it to fully sink in.  And to write about it in detail in a special journal reserved only for that type of contemplation gives it (gives me) even a deeper sense of appreciation.

So today amidst the regular mundane, the chaos, or the pain, I encourage you to find something to be grateful for.  Just one thing.  Write it down, meditate on it, and see how much better you feel…


“Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside.  No matter what is going on outside of us, there is always something we could be grateful for.”

~  Barry Neil Kaufman


What are you grateful for today?




✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

34 responses to “The Key

  1. Jan's bulletin board

    The Internet 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful and heartfelt post Julie.

    Thanks for sharing your heart, vulnerability and tips. I’m with you that gratitude is one of the most important practices. Writing it down doesn’t always work for me. It’s more powerful for me when I can get to the feeling of gratitude. Thanks for being a friend and supporter. 🙂

    May we remember our blessings,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much Brad! For me, writing it down takes my regular daily journaling just one step deeper, and also gives me something to go back to on those days I may be struggling a bit more. Hope you find many things to be grateful for today, my friend! And hope you’re staying warm down there too, we’re having more snow! 🙂


  3. This is quite beautiful writing Julie; and of itself a worthy reason to be grateful for this day.

    Thank you.

    Hariod. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, thanks for the lovely comment you left me, I have got any with my blogging going to make more of an effort after reading through my favourite blogs.

    That was a beautiful blog post you shared hope you are keeping well x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a fun photo so full of whimsy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So beautiful .
    There are days when it really is good to reflect and take stock of things to be grateful for, a good habit. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Lorna, I hope you find many things to be grateful for today! ❤ I'm grateful that you're a part of my WordPress community here, and for all of the lovely garden posts you share. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Julie, your optimism shines through every day and I really love that. Shine on, girl; shine on. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am grateful for having read such a wonderful post. Thanks Julie for reminding us all that we have things to be grateful for.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jewels… this is such a lovely post to read on a Sunday morning… Linda and I have been through all the ups and downs together that I think are possible… wealth? Been almost bankrupt, but managed to survive that one. .. Health? Linda has had 3 different cancers and I recently have been through the mill with emergency ops and even one on my lungs to remove growths… Has any of this ever got us down? Not really it has just made us more determined to turn things around and that you can only do by looking for the positives in life…
    Is it easy? Not always, when you receive the news your wife has another cancer after having just survived the last one is not easy to enter into a positive mind frame, but we always somehow look for the positives that come out of the news… and with Linda experiencing all these differing cancers has put her in a place to be able to help others, to cheer them up after they receive the bad cancer news… how can you remain worried about one cancer and your survival chances, when you meet someone that has had three and is still living?? Linda has always spoken of her Jesus hug she gets with the bad news of cancer, and she can describe that hug and how it feels… and this gives her the positivity to fight and survive… and it is this that she imparts to others… I have seen women crying out loud having just received news of breast cancer, smiling and laughing with Linda after her talking to them for 5 minutes… and when I ask what she said to them… she says “Oh we just chatted”
    there are times we think we are the worst off, but there is always someone else with more troubles, pain or worries then yourself… so like you say, find something for which you can be grateful for and put a smile on your face…
    I’m glad you added your other post to this one… everyone should read it…
    Thank you Jewels for a wonderful post today… you have the Bulldog smiling…

    Liked by 1 person

    • The two of you sure have been through a lot together, and Linda sounds like a remarkable woman. Wish I could meet her, and you too, for that matter. 😉 Thanks so much for sharing all of this with me Bulldog.
      I know a bit about those “Jesus hugs” too, they’re the most comforting, reassuring feeling in the world. ❤
      So glad this has you smiling my friend, may you have many more reasons to smile today, and many things to be grateful for…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It is indeed a key – I’m with you all the way on this one:-) Great post – at any time of year! I too keep a gratitude journal, which I wrote about here… Hugs, H xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m grateful I came across your blog! After reading your posts, I always come away lighter in heart and mind. hugs, 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so grateful to hear that Eliza, because that is exactly what I always hope for for the people who read them! ❤
      And I'm grateful I found your blog too, it's truly a lovely place you have there! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I wish ,I had this key. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love that photo Julie and your post is just a perfect story of how we can adjust our thinking, just little tweaks, even, make such a marked difference and can raise us from despair. A post full of great insight I think. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Ruth! I was thinking about gratitude being the “key” that can open up so many good things in our lives, and then got the idea to go out and experiment a bit with my camera using a key. 🙂
      It’s so true that tweaking our thoughts, even ever so slightly, really can make a huge difference in our perspective. It works for me anyway, and hopefully does/will for others as well. xx


  14. Thanks for suggesting we should think about thanks earlier in the month. Maybe we should call November Thanksthinking instead? And thanks for sharing this post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Such a beautiful post. I’m thankful for the moments of brightness you bring to us through your blog! Thank you!


  16. You indeed did find the ‘Key’.. so often we replay over and over the sadness and despair of our woes, and we dig ourselves deeper into our pits of depression.. The Key is altering our train of thought.. You did that with your candles.. and so the Light of illumination and upliftment was able to replace the darkness with Light..

    Lovely to meet you.. Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, exactly!
      Lovely to meet you too, Sue! I’ve seen your comments on other blogs that I follow and thought I’d go and see what you had going on over at your blog. 🙂
      Have a wonderful day! ❤


  17. Gratitude is essential to living well. I loved this post. I’m grateful to know there are people like you out there. Grateful that people can find the light.
    About an hour ago, I was grateful we had plenty of milk, since the kitten spilled mine. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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