Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Focus On Gratitude

by Judy

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. "
-William Arthur Ward-

The unofficial start of summer is upon us, and with it I am beginning my "100 Days of Summer" photography project.  As I did last year, from Memorial Day to Labor Day I will try to capture all of my summer moments - big and small.  This year, however,  I'm adding to my project.  Within the moments that I capture each day, at least one of my daily photographs will be of something that I am grateful for that day.  

We talk a lot about gratitude here. We even have our own Focus On Gratitude segments where at any time, whenever we wish, we can post about something we are grateful for, or talk about how we are striving to bring more gratitude into our lives.  So here I am today...

I practice gratitude every day, through prayer and journaling.  My hope is that by adding gratitude to my photography project, it will bring a deeper meaning to my photographs. My goal is to convey my feelings of gratitude in my photos. This may be easier said than done.  I am reminded of people who visit the Grand Canyon, or some other phenomenal place on earth, who say "the photos don't do it justice.  You have to be there."  But I will try.

Photography, and the practice (or discipline) of gratitude, keeps me in the moment.  Keeping my heart and mind open to the little miracles all around me, and acknowledging my gratitude for these miracles, makes me feel happy.  

So I ask you...what are you grateful for today? This week?  Did many things come to mind immediately, or did you have to pause and think?  I'd love it if you'd share with us the first thing that popped into your mind! (for me, the first thing that came to mind was that I am grateful for my sore muscles because it's proof that I had a productive weekend in my lawn and garden. And then, of course, that makes me grateful that I am physically able to work all weekend in my lawn and garden. It goes on and on.)

 It doesn't always have to be the big things in life that we are grateful for- they are so, so important, and I'm always thankful for them, but they're almost a given.  We can concentrate on the little parts of our day too and acknowledge all of the simple beauties of life, big and small.

I encourage you to focus on all the things in your life that you are grateful for. Every day. Think of them, acknowledge them, maybe even photograph them.  Let gratitude guide you through your day. 

"If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough." 
-Meister Eckhart-


AFishGirl said...

My husband. That I can turn on the tap and drinkable water comes out. That my children and grandchildren are well and are good people, kind, caring. My job. Oatmeal. Playing pool. Jigsaw puzzles. Sleep, when I get some. Tea. My green pen. Libraries. Clouds. Snow. Photography. The words "please" and "thank you." Snail mail. My new rain jacket. Fishing. Kombucha. My hearing aids. Laughter. Compassion. I need to iron my clothes for work or I'd keep typing. Thank you for asking. I am grateful for this blog and you women.

kelly said...

a beautiful post judy. today i am thankful for time off from work. beautiful sunny weather. my strong body. my sharp mind. and for kindred friends like you. xoxo

terriporter said...

Nothing brings more happiness and contentment than focusing on the things we are grateful for, big and small. And I love your idea of incorporating photography and gratitude. I was able to spend a beautiful Memorial Day with my three sons, their wives/girlfriends, and my three grandchildren and I kept pausing throughout the day thinking of how grateful I am for each and every one of them and for every minute we get to spend together. There is so much to be grateful for if we choose to focus on it. Thanks for the reminder!

Carol said...

The first thing that popped
Into my mind was the pouring rain one day over the holiday weekend. Know why? BEcause I laid on the couch with the dog most of the day. I have really really needed that lately and I would
Not have given it to myself if it was sunny -I would have been mowing and weeding etc. The universe knew I needed that gift -I feel like a new person today��
Thanks for a great and important post Judy -I'm glad I know you!

heyjudephotography said...

You know Carol, I felt the same way this weekend. I welcomed the rain as a chance to relax.

Cathy H. said...

Your idea of 100 of Summer photos is a great one. I may just see what I can do this summer! Today I'm grateful for my husband and family, cool mornings, and my health.

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