"If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is 'thank you,' that would suffice." - Meister Eckhart
You may have been wondering why I call this site Wonder and Gratitude, yet have not written much about either. Well, the honest answer is that I am still finding my "blog voice." Food is what comes most effortlessly to me and so that is easy to share. My inner self, however, is much more difficult to divulge. IS that true for you, too? I expect things to gradually evolve, and one day I'll surprise even myself by suddenly knowing exactly what I want to say and actually be able to say it. In the meantime here is just a little insight into how I feel about gratitude.
Yesterday I saw this cute little art piece by Lindsay Ostrom. Don't you just love it?!
Her art is super cute and her lettering is magnificent. I dream of being able to letter like she does. Anyhow, her little art piece reminded me, this month of Thanksgiving, that the past two years I made it a point to post a daily gratitude quote on my Facebook page for the entire month of November. I loved searching for the perfect quote that reflected how I felt about gratitude. I think the one above is my all-time favorite.
I first learned about gratitude as an intentional practice from Oprah years and years ago. In the time since, I have had an on again, off again gratitude practice. I write in journals, put notes in a gratitude jar and/or make a point of listing things I am grateful for out loud every night as I lay in bed about to go to sleep. Thank you, thank you, thank you! The magic of all or any of these practices is that when I am feeling especially challenged, defeated or sad, defaulting to gratitude always makes me feel better, if only momentarily. The thing is, even in my darkest, most difficult days (and I have had a whopping share of those) there is always, always something to be thankful for. As the author Ilan Shamir says in Simple Wisdom: A Thousand Things Went Right Today , "my fork performed beautifully." Yeah, sometimes that's all I've got, so I go with it.
Earlier this year, I discovered a project from Australian photographer Hailey Bartholomew. She has a wonderful TedTalk about her gratitude project, #365grateful, and she went on to make shorts about others. One I particularly love is about the artist Lori Portka, and her project to create and gift 100 pieces of art in gratitude. It's beautiful. Both of these influenced me to try my own #365grateful project. I thought it would make me have to be more present to the things in life I am thankful for. Everyday I'd have to be on the look-out for that one thing. I am photo-documenting it on Instagram if you care to have a look. So far I am on day 152/365. It has been fun. It has also come amidst one of the more challenging times in my life. I appreciate the distraction the gratitude brings. It's a shot of happiness and blessing that uplifts me no matter what. The hard things in life are really, really hard. Sometimes they are so hard I think I will explode from the pressure of it all. At the same time life is really beautiful.....or as Glennon Doyle Melton says, "Life is Brutiful," and I am grateful to live it.
A few of the things I have been grateful for so far- a weekend in New Hampshire celebrating the wedding of my niece, the gift of an art class with Junelle Jacobsen that changed my creative life forever, and of course, my kiddos.♥ What are you feeling grateful for today? I hope you noticed something today and I'd love to know what it is!