365 Grateful

April 26, 2012

What a wonderful story and project! Hailey is a photographer in Brisbane, Australia. A few years ago, she was feeling really down for no good reason. She asked advice of a wise nun who told her the secret to happiness: reflection and gratitude. The nun asked her to write something down every day that she was grateful for.

Hailey says, “It really surprised me how quickly I began to notice things that I otherwise would have missed. I remember sitting on my bed one night and realising that the little moments I was thinking through were really special and if I had not taken the time to notice them they would be lost forever.

It shocked me how much I had missed so I started to take the project seriously. I got a beautiful album and ordered enough polaroid film to see me through a year! (and lucky I did!) Taking one photo every day for a year of something I was grateful for really re-programmed my brain. I couldn’t believe how much gratitude affected my life. Seeing and celebrating the good in my life affected not only the way I felt spiritually and physically but it improved my relationships with others too.”

Here’s a beautiful little video that shares more about the 365 Grateful project:

Tell me, Friends. What little (or big) thing are you grateful for today? Me? I’m grateful for the way Baby June blows kisses when she says goodbye. And I’m grateful for late night talks with a dear friends who is visiting.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tsultrim April 26, 2012 at 4:03 am

Thank you for this post… I have been feeling also a little down and I have just said to my companion that I should write one or two things to be grateful for everyday… Then I come here and see this post! A blessing! Thank you for sharing this!

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2 Sally Cage April 26, 2012 at 5:28 am

Eeeek, so exciting to see this here on your blog, Gabrielle!!

I am so very grateful for the fact that the amazing Hailey and her equally amazing husband Andrew were our wedding photographers! I am also lucky enough to have spent time socially with them and their two amazing daughters. So much creativity and joy and gratitude in one family; the mind boggles!

P.S. reminds me of the Blair family! xxx

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3 Amy @Picture It April 26, 2012 at 6:07 am

I was so touched by that video. The photos were beautiful and the story about her husband’s little acts of love really got to me. I often take advantage of how sweet my husband is. Nice to get a little reminder like this. Thank you for sharing!

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4 beth confusedhomemaker April 26, 2012 at 6:14 am

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

I am grateful for the house full of highly energetic kids this morning who make me laugh even as I reach for my next cup of coffee to keep up {although I seriously wonder how do they wake up with that much energy?!}.

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5 Lauren April 26, 2012 at 6:53 am

This reminds me of One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. That book was a real life changer for me and now I am always trying to look for the gifts in each day.
Today, I am grateful for the bluebird that stayed on the feeder long enough for my husband to get a few pictures. He’s been trying to photograph that bird for weeks without success and was so excited to finally get it!

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6 Robin April 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I was going to recommend this book as well! It is awesome, as is her blog A Holy Experience!

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7 susan April 26, 2012 at 6:56 am

I loved the video. Today I’m grateful that I was able to make yummy breakfasts and healthy lunches for my 4 before they all headed out their separate ways. Yes, I am grateful for sending love in a lunch box.

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8 Angeerah April 26, 2012 at 7:03 am

I have been down for some time. So today I am grateful for you reminding me to be grateful for all the little joys in my life. Thank you.

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9 Bonnie April 26, 2012 at 7:10 am

I love this idea! I may have to try it!

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10 Emily April 26, 2012 at 8:18 am

Similar to my blog! It was an amazing experience for me too!
-Emily@ayearinthanks.blogspot.com

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11 Lindsay at Bliss & Whimsy April 26, 2012 at 8:59 am

What a wonderful idea! I know that I have so much to be grateful for, and taking the time to appreciate the special things in your life each day sounds so uplifting. I might have to try this! Thanks for sharing.

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12 Dee April 26, 2012 at 9:19 am

Thanks for this. Today, I’m grateful that my 7 year old is recovering from his cold, but stayed home from school and is making me laugh like crazy.

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13 Sue April 26, 2012 at 9:20 am

This little exercise has transformed the way I approach my day. Now I get up wondering which little thing is going to make the “journal” today. I’ve actually had to write 2 or 3 things down from time to time. Keep the journal right next to your bed, and don’t write in complete sentences. It takes all the pressure off!

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14 Angela April 26, 2012 at 9:24 am

Thank you for this post. I have had a rough morning and feeling blue. Nothing like looking at all your blessings to realize the joy and love in your life. Today I am thankful for a dear friend who must have sensed my need and stepped in to serve me and my family. Love to you Gabby and all the Blairs. Xoxo

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15 Stephanie April 26, 2012 at 9:50 am

I’m also thankful for this post (and all your others) always something to look forward in my day! Today I’m thankful for my aunt who helps me out with my kids – she drops them off & picks them up everyday from school – she is pretty awesome!

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16 Melissa April 26, 2012 at 10:10 am

A friend gave me a little “gratitude journal” a few years ago–just a homemade notebook, nothing too fancy. She instructed me to write down 5 things I was grateful for at the end of every day. Amazing experience. It really gave me a different outlook on things. And so easy!

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17 Jadah{family sponge} April 26, 2012 at 10:13 am

This is so flippin’ cool! I love polaroid and gratitude in one. I just signed up for the newsletter. And I think a 30 day challenge is in order for me and my family. Thank you for sharing. “She turned and offered her little hand.” Heart melting…now.

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18 everton terrace April 26, 2012 at 10:17 am

Someone told me the secret power of gratitude years ago and it has brought such a joyful peace to my life. I am overwhelmed by it every day.
Gratitude = Joy

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19 Michelle A April 26, 2012 at 10:25 am

strong arms to lift my children.

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20 bdaiss April 26, 2012 at 10:26 am

I’ve been doing something similar since my baby girl was born almost 3 years ago. I do a photo a day (or nearly. I’ve missed a few here and there. Some days I have dozens though.) and use Becky Higgins Project Life supplies to document the big and small and the things we are so grateful for in our lives. I keep a gratitude journal for myself (notes on the day plus 3 things minimum I’m grateful for), but the photos and notes and every day “stuff” we put in our albums is so wonderful and such a visual reminder. We (kids included) love going back through them. Even the small things bring such memories and signs of love.

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21 Michelle A April 26, 2012 at 10:26 am

also meant to add, what a gorgeous project! Especially with it being on polaroid film too, it’s just beautiful.

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22 Lana Cole April 26, 2012 at 10:41 am

I am grateful for middle school students who raise their hands to answer questions.

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23 Yvonne April 26, 2012 at 11:10 am

Grateful is THE way to live this life, every day is a gift. Here’s a link to an amazing video by Br. Stendal-Rast, an Austrian monk – I watch it all the time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zl9puhwiyw&feature=player_embedded

He, and an amazing line of up speakers are presenting a GRATEFULNESS retreat in SF this June (including the amazing poet David Whyte):

http://pathways.gratefulness.org

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24 Sharon @ Discovering blog April 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I was doing this, and I seem to have fallen away from it, but thank you for the reminder that I need to return to it.
I read 29 Gift by Cami Walker and it inspired me to be giving, from my heart, just to be kind and to share…not to give because I expected to get something in return. It’s a beautiful book, and had a lovely message.

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25 emily April 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I’m reading 1000 Gifts now, and I just finished Stephanie Nielson’s book, Heaven is Here. Tender mercies is an idea that is following me around, of late. I hope I am paying attention!

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26 Christa the BabbyMama April 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm

It’s funny, because I have the tendency not to notice the good things, but if I stop and really try to jot down all I’m grateful for, it just never stops. I could literally spend hours listing off all I’m truly grateful for! I may not always feel like it, but I am spectacularly blessed!

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27 jen April 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm

this post has lifted me. i am doing project life an some days it feels more like a chore than fun but adding this twist i think will get me back into the groove of my life and of the process. thank you. i AM grateful.

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28 Sumana Shetty April 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I connected so well with this post:-) Just recently on my birthday I wrote a poem called Gratitude and here it is. Gabrielle I am very grateful for your website and the inspiration I get every single time I visit.

Gratitude:

Countless number of moments

Every day from dawn to dusk

Remind me how fortunate I am

To be here on this Earth

Surrounded by vibrant folks

Coloring my day with brilliant hue

Thoughtful and sweet at all times

Endlessly serving always with a smile

Living in a region of the World

With natural splendors all around

Woods, Mountains and Creeks Plenty

Make a beautiful backdrop tapestry

Moving at a comfortable pace

Content and happy in my space

All the restful times with my family

Melting away the stress of wear and tear

I hold and cherish all I have

Perfection is this and no more

I wish all I know the very same joy

To know, experience and enjoy!

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29 leslie April 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm

last year i had some tough times; being a mom to little ones means that you don’t get all the credit you might want….
one night my sister {a nun:)} told me a story:
“a busy working-mom spent a whole day with her girls. they did all the fun things they could think of and even baked some cookies way after bedtime. when bedtime came around the mom asked her daughters what they were thankful for…well she was hoping for the whole “mommy was home, we had fun, baked”-stuff, but one of her girls actually said: “i am thankful for the rug in our favourite hotel {a retreat-center they were visting quite often}. it’s great for playing on and it’s so comfy, i love it!” the mom of course was bumped at first but then she realized: it is indeed the little things that make life complete”.
from that night on we, as a family, give “thanks for the day”, e.g. every night we tell each other what we were thankful for that VERY day. it’s priceless, loveable and all about the little stuff.

tonight we thanked for:
*the fact that our “pink-eyes” are actually getting better
*that we had such a relaxing afternoon
* that we played all day

it’s one of the best things i ever initiated as a mother. seriously.

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30 Jen Lewis April 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Oh gratitude is one of my favorite things. I think it can cure anything. My mother gave me a “thankful journal” where at anytime I could write down things I am grateful for. I love writing in it and I absolutely LOVE going back and reading what I was thankful for at different times in my life. What a neat project!

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31 Jen Lewis April 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm

I am so thankful for my 8 week old’s smiles. They are THE BEST!

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32 Gina Baker April 27, 2012 at 8:53 am

Love the post. I am always trying to remember the good things in life… it is not fun to be grumpy all the time! I am thankful that my husband is coming home today!

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33 Jessica Cramer April 29, 2012 at 8:43 am

I am grateful for a beautiful sunny morning! It’s cool outside but I am grateful for the warm spring weather we have had this year in Wisconsin, sometimes we still get snow this time of year.

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34 Rebecca April 2, 2013 at 7:18 pm

I write a post called Gratitude Mondays (where gratitude is the new black). It has really brought more love and light into my world. It has also opened my eyes to so many other people who also write about beauty & gratitude in their life. I also link up with the Australian blogger Maxabella, as she writes for a magazine that has a weekly link up for Gratitudes. It is amazing the world of gratefulness that is out there! xo
http://pomegranateandseeds.blogspot.com/2013/03/gratitude-monday_11.html

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