Hi Everyone,

The past six years, since I became a widow, have been the most challenging period of my life– and yet they have also been the most rewarding. I have grown creatively, practically and spiritually, and have come to realize that we grow the most during the most difficult times in our lives.

Whenever I feel a little less than whole, I try to work a little harder to stay grounded in gratitude. One way that I do this is through a meditative practice I call Morning Journaling. I’ve discovered that, as an artist and writer, if I start each day with a pen in my hand I can better express what’s in my heart.

The page below, from one of my morning journals, is a fairly typical example of a page from one of my morning journals.

Living with intention requires practice; it means really understanding WHAT you want, so you can try to figure out HOW to try to achieve it. It requires patience, flexibility, dedication and a willingness to embrace yourself and where you are on your life’s journey.

Below is a page from one of the journals I kept the year after my husband died:

Although I was giving myself permission to start again, I didn’t really have any idea where I wanted to be, much less how I was going to get there. That same year, as I dreamed of designing a new life for myself and my children, I wrote this:

Given how profoundly dysfunctional we were at the time, designing a new life seemed an impossible dream. And yet I knew that if I was committed to building a future which reflected my core values, I would have to try. That’s when I made the decision to start living with intention. Although I would never have willingly chosen this journey, I recognize that few people have the opportunity to re-envision their life’s purpose, and I am profoundly grateful to be in the process of reinventing myself.

I invite you to join me on The Journey from Grief to Gratitude. I will be blogging at least once a month, and look forward to connecting with you. In fact, I'd love your input-- what are you struggling with on your journey, and how can I help?

Remember-- you are NOT alone,



  1. Joanne,first off, I love and have all you books. Thank you. Second I didn’t realize you are a widow. I am not, thank God, but I’ve lost my mom and oldest sister, both my best friends. It is a struggle to find that security and unconditional love they give. Thank God He gives it to me freely. Thank you for your Grief to gratitude monthly blog and reminding me I AM NOT ALONE!!

  2. You are always an inspiration, Joanne. Grief has many faces and like you so eloquently describe, it weaves in and out, changing in intensity and form, then sneaks back around again. Every new loss brings it glaringly back to life and the cycle begins again. Like you, I try to stay grounded in gratitude and remember how blessed I am and have been. Thank you, Joanne, for the reminder.

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