Living with Gratitude

November 11, 2014
African Basket

African Basket

The main reason I started my first blog was because I planned to do a 365 Grateful Project. A friend had brought my attention to an article published in U Magazine (a magazine inserted into Brisbane’s Sunday Mail newspaper) on a Brisbane mum called Hailey Bartholomew who had begun a 365 Grateful project.  The idea had since spread worldwide and it had become evident how the practice of gratitude had helped so many people of all different walks of life.

Doing my own 365 Grateful project where I took a photo a day, every day for 365 days of something I was grateful for (with a few hiccups along the way!) benefited me in many ways. After many years of working full-time in the corporate world, combined with the varied demands of juggling being a mother of three and running a household, the ability to slow down and to notice and enjoy the beauty and inspirational happenings around me had diminished.  Doing this project helped me to slow down and notice what was around me and to reconnect to life, appreciate what I had, to rediscover who I was and what I enjoyed, and to find new passions that I went on to pursue (photography & blogging).

The photo above was was the final image for my 365 Grateful project – Day 365.  Here are the words I wrote to explain the image and what I was grateful for:

365 Grateful – Day 365:  I’m grateful for this gorgeous African hand-woven basket, my one and only purchase from our trip away to the Byron Bay Hinterland.  This was purchased at the Byron Bay Markets.  It’s made from Elephant Grass which grows around the Sahel region of West Africa.  The leaves are harvested seasonally by the Fra Fra people of Northern Ghana and then soaked and stretched to produce a fine, supple and extra strong fibre.  By purchasing this basket, I have helped to maintain the time-honoured craft of weaving and the continued trade relationship with these people.  This makes me feel good.  This basket also serves to remind me of the wonderful time MrMM and I had on those few days away and also the huge benefits that can be gained by getting away more often.

In my opinion, living with and practicing gratitude is the key to a happier life. Practicing gratitude impacts all areas of our lives. Here are just a few examples:

  • Emotional – feel good, less envious of others, helps us bounce back from stress
  • Personality – less materialistic, more spiritual, more optimistic
  • Social – kinder, less demanding
  • Career – better management, improved networking, increased productivity
  • Health – better sleep, sick less often

Here is Hailey discussing her 365 Grateful experiences recently at a TEDx event at QUT, Brisbane, Australia.  Warning:  You might need some tissues on hand!

If you’re feeling a little down and disconnected from life, I highly recommend having a think about doing your own 365 Grateful Project. If not taking a photograph each day, then perhaps keeping a journal in which you write something you are grateful for each day.  You will be amazed at what an impact it has on how you live and see your life!

Learn more at Hailey’s 365 grateful site – HERE!

Do you practice gratitude? Have you done a 365 Grateful Project or do you keep a journal?

Ciao for now,

Min Signature - Dec13

[This post is linked up with Essentially Jess’s #IBOT]

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  • Reply Dani @ Sand Has No Home November 11, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Though I am not doing any projects, I find the act of remembering to be grateful such an important one. I literally stop to smell the roses and enjoy the beautiful blessings of my life. I have quite a few friends and family with serious illness at the moment, and very sick children make you realise that all of the fluff that you get tangled up in means zero when the chips are down.
    That is a very beautiful basket with a great story attached. It has been close to 20 years since I have been to the Byron markets, I hope they are still as awesome as they used to be 🙂

    • Reply Min November 11, 2014 at 9:27 am

      Hi Dani – we sure do need to count our blessings. As you say, there are families will serious illness and hardships to live with every day. After doing my 365 Grateful project, it has become habit for me to scan my day and find at least one thing to be grateful for. It’s a habit I am very happy to keep. The Byron Bay markets were very awesome. It was a very hot day when we were there tho! 😉 Min xo

  • Reply Michelle@myslowlivingadventure November 11, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Gratitude is the absolute key to happiness. The project sounds fantastic. I keep a gratitude journal and as a family we try and make a point of sharing gratitude every night at dinner. The kids love it, often joking and saying silly stuff, like “I’m really grateful for my bum!” which I say they should be. Imagine not having a bum!!

    • Reply Min November 11, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      It sure is Michelle. Finding something in each day to be grateful for really heightens your awareness and you notice things you wouldn’t have normally. It also really helps to put things in perspective and makes you appreciate all that you have. I love that your family do gratitude sharing! LOL – oh your little one is so funny! Good point!! I cannot imagine not having a bum. It would certainly make things quite difficult! haha Thanks so much for visiting! 🙂 xo

  • Reply floodproofmum November 11, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    I saw the same article and have thought about doing the 365 days of gratitude. Think I will start in the new year. So inspiring and so important to practice gratitude daily. Lovely post Min.

    • Reply Min November 11, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      It was a great article wasn’t it Tanya! I really enjoyed doing the project. It made an enormous difference in my life. I miss it actually. Who knows – maybe another one could be in my future! Thank you for visiting! 😉 xo

  • Reply Jess - Peachy Keen Mumma November 11, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    WOW! I just read that and watched the whole video! I feel changed even for this moment. SO good.
    I’ve heard of these gratitude projects but I don’t think I fully comprehended how much of a life change and impact they have. I’m so grateful (there’s that word) that I took the time to watch this today. Thank you for sharing. I have a friend I’m going to send it too who is really struggling. Maybe she will do the project with me?

    • Reply Min November 11, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      Hi Jess – I’m so glad this post has struck a chord for you. I hope your friend agrees to do the project with you. It really does make a huge different to how you see your life. You’ll be amazed! 😉 xo

  • Reply Renee Wilson November 11, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    At the end of each day I do try to take time to think about what I’m grateful for and what the highlights of that day have been. The project sounds like a wonderful idea. Good on you for participating and getting so involved.

    • Reply Min November 11, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      Thank you Renee! I still find myself scanning my day and finding the one special part of it that I am grateful for. It’s a wonderful habit to have formed. I have the 365 grateful project to thank for that. 🙂 xo

  • Reply Twitchy Sharon November 12, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Completely agree that gratitude is an important way to stay balanced, even stay afloat in troubled times. Too many of us overlook the blessings in our midst when looking at the horizon. Great effort. #teamIBOT

    • Reply Min November 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      Many thanks Sharon – it certainly helps us keep balanced in our every day lives and even more so during troubled times! 😉 x

  • Reply Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages November 12, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    It is so important to stop and be grateful, it contributes so much to our happiness. I’ve never done this project but have heard lots about it. I did do a 365 photo a day for my daughter one year but am yet to compile it all into a book. :/

    • Reply Min November 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      That book will be such a special keepsake for your daughter when you get around to doing it! A real gift 🙂 x

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee November 12, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    It’s funny, just noticing your blessings can lift your mood…

    • Reply Lydia C. Lee November 12, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      Too quick! I guess it switches you view from half empty to half full in the process…

      • Reply Min November 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm

        Yes … and reminds us that there are always people worse off then ourselves … which adjusts our perspective when at times we may be tending to look upon things a little too negatively!

    • Reply Min November 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      So very true Lydia!! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Tegan November 12, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    I don’t practice gratitude regularly but when I do I am always amazed at the impact in has on the way I feel. It’s so great that you saw such a positive shift in your life by doing the photo project.

    • Reply Min November 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      It was a very worthwhile project. It made an enormous difference to my life 🙂 x

  • Reply EssentiallyJess November 13, 2014 at 11:39 am

    A friend of mine was telling me how this got her though PND, just finding something to be grateful for everyday. She said some days it was as simple as ‘i have legs’ because that was all the joy she could find, but it helped.

    • Reply Min November 13, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Wonderful to hear that this helped your friend through PND and ‘I have legs’ is a great thing to be grateful for. I had days where I was struggling to find something to be grateful for but I was grateful for my ‘hands’ and my ‘feet’. I’ve had friends with PND. It’s awful. I hope your friend is doing much better now! x

  • Reply Denyse Whelan June 4, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    It is lovely to re-visit these posts and see the commenters names again! Thanks Min. Denyse x

    • Reply Min June 4, 2019 at 5:06 pm

      My pleasure. I enjoy the glimpse back in time too Denyse! 🙂 xo

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