Monday, November 4, 2013

The Practice of Gratitude

by Dotti

November is the month when those of us in the United States turn our thoughts to gratitude. This is a good thing. Wherever you live on our great planet, I hope you'll keep reading and take the little challenge I have for you this month.

Two years ago, I took a 'Pathfinders' course with Karen Walrond. There were two big take aways from that course for me. One, I was inspired to email two friends and start a collaborative blog, a story you've read here before so I won't repeat it. The second is that Karen turned me onto the practice of gratitude. Oh, my! What a game changer this is!

Simply put, I try each day to list at least five things I'm grateful for in that day. Most days the list could get quite lengthy, truth be told. Other days, when I'm tired, don't feel well, have had a 'challenging' day, it might not be so easy. But once I begin my list, my outlook on my life changes dramatically and I'm sure my blood pressure goes down. Yeah. As simple as that!

Because, you know what? We really are, each and every one of us, blessed beyond imagining. We just don't always recognize it because we become so wrapped up in ourselves, in the drama and negativity of life instead of the beauty, simplicity and love which beg us to claim them as our very own. And believe me, I am guilty as charged! Our world is saturated with drama and negativity. All you have to do is turn on a cable news station and your heart turns sour within one thirty second soundbite. But ... the choice is yours. You can wallow in that stuff, or you can replace it with the practice gratitude.

As a result of that course, I began the practice of 30 days of gratitude in 2011. I posted my first gratitude journal on Flickr. Last year, I posted it on my personal blog, Camper, and am doing the same thing this year. So ... I'm going to challenge you this month to take a photo every single day of something that you're grateful for or that represents something you're grateful for and post it on our Flickr page. With each photo, please share with us a brief description of what you are grateful for on that day. Each Saturday, we'll choose from the photos in our collective Gratitude Journal for Focus on You.

For our Instagram friends, you can post over there using the #naphopomo and #focusingonlife hashtags. For the month of November we will be posting our weekly IG mosaic on Sundays. And be sure to add your IG photos to the FOL Flickr phoneography page so those of us who don't visit IG regularly can enjoy your beautiful work.

And then, don't stop there! Why do this only in November? Continue to practice gratitude each and every day. Some days it might be as simple as 'I didn't have a headache today' or 'My son had clean socks'. Whatever it is, find five things that you are grateful for and contemplate their purpose in your life.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
                                                                                                 ~ Melody Beattie 


Nancy Claeys said...

Amazing capture Dotti and I so enjoy your gratitude posts -- so much in life we take for granted. xo

Jeanne said...

Great post, and this attitude is definitely a game changer. I have done, on and off , a Gratitude journal for many years every since reading Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach. A Great book and one that made such a difference in my life. Great focus for the month

Carol said...

Love the pictures, love the quote and, as always , believe in the attitude!

Linda said...

This is something I want to try! I believe in the power of positive thinking and this is a good way to reinforce that! And like you said, why not continue past November! Especially as we get into the crazy busy end of year season it might just be the perfect tool to help slow it all down a bit and really enjoy it! Thanks for a great post!

annie said...

This is wonderful, Dotti. As the days grown shorter and darker and colder, I need something like this. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

Terri Porter said...

As everyone seems to be saying, this is coming at a time when I really need it! I have committed to 30 days of gratitude on my long-neglected blog and I think that will get me back into not only the habit of blogging there again but into really thinking each day about how much I have to be grateful for. Beautiful post, Dotti!

Kim Stevens said...

Oh my, grateful that you have some beautiful trees with glowing leaves to share with those of us who do beautfiul! My gratitude like you said doesn't start and stop with the month of November. I'm kind of all over the place sharing my gratitude this month, IG, Facebook, blog . . . couldn't make up my mind, so I'm spreading it around! lol

Silvina Soave said...

Hermoso post,y es una muy buena práctica la de la gratitud!!. Muy buena también tu idea de las fotos por las cosas que nos sentimos agradecidos.
Un fuerte abrazo.

CarolHart said...

Lovely post Dotti. Just love those trees.

gina said...

It is so easy to focus on the negative, and ignore all the blessings around us. I've been cultivating the practice of gratitude for the last few years, and now I am stepping it up for November and blogging about it. Thank you for sharing your beautiful images and reminding us how rewarding the practice of gratitude is.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! I like this idea. I, too, need to focus on something that "lifts me up" these days and this may just be the ticket! Your photos are so lovely! and... Thank you SO much for featuring my sunset rock jetty fishermen shot! I really love this blog! ~ Karen

Sarah Huizenga said...

Great post and a wonderful reminder to look for things to be grateful for.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Dottie! You are right we are blessed beyond our comprehension. Sometimes we just need to take a deep breath, open our eyes and listen to our hearts. Gratitude is there. Thank You for the reminder.

Awesome quote to end your post with.

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