Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Gratitude Journal for Women

The Gratitude Journal for Women

 The Gratitude Journal for Women
Illustrated by Katie Vernon with Text Written by Katherine Furman

The cover is beautiful, like a coloring page done in lovely, muted colors. These illustrations continue inside on each page’s edge, so there's continuity. Since this a book for women, I like that beautiful touch. It especially speaks to me as one who enjoys coloring and creating.

The beginning of the book includes an introduction, which helps set the tone of the rest of the book. Then, there are quotes written by Katherine Furman on pages with several lines for personalizing the journal. The idea is to contemplate the positive aspects of one’s life and watch how that changes one’s life. The introduction makes a case for how science has proven that focusing on positive aspects in life can lead to happiness and a sense of contentedness, (which is what I think is meant by "peace" in the subtitle).*

I think this journal can lead to a new way of thinking, and that in itself sounds positive. There’s value in that. The pages are thick for writing.

Two things I’d like to see are 1) scriptures from a modern translation that uses inclusive language (especially since this is a women’s journal). And 2) less “you” language in the introduction and writing prompts. Sometimes the use of second person can feel accusatory and condescending. It’s more inviting to let folks find themselves in the pages rather than point a “you” index finger, in my opinion. Also, since I have not heard of the woman who wrote the text, I question the prompts. I may not be alone in this. Using positive scriptures would solve this aspect. (Anything that makes the participant resistant/defensive may cause them to not even use the journal, like “you” language, unknown author, lack of independent and authoritative text, etc.)

When I saw the cover for this journal, for some reason, I guessed it was a Christian resource. So, my expectations were that there would be scriptures included. I trust scriptures more than someone’s opinion. On the other hand, I like the explanation of the science of gratitude (minus the second person address) in the introduction and may end up using some of the prompts in this journal in my own personal journal. Who couldn’t use a little more happiness and contentedness in their lives?

This book is ideal for readers who’ve found their lives could benefit from what this book promises (a sense of happiness). The book feels good in one’s hands. The materials (cover and pages) are substantial, making the book heavy. The fact that the journal is personalized (as one uses it) to one’s own likes and positive experiences, could make for a highly individual and satisfying experience that also helps one keep others in mind. That said, I believe Christian users may feel the void of the lack of scriptures, which they could research and pen in as the verses come to mind, adding a separate, and spiritually satisfying, element. 

* to know true peace, one must know the Prince of Peace personally. 

I received a complimentary copy of this journal in exchange for my honest opinion.  

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