Today is my birthday and for the first time in my adulthood, I am unequivocally alone and single. My relationship status on its own is not pivotal, however that combined with a transformed perception toward life, love and the future is. In the past few years I ended an increasingly tumultuous relationship, simplified my lifestyle and set goals that exceed my prior beliefs of what is possible. I see opportunity and freedom in my solitude. I am free to look inward, grow and change without compromise. Part of the simplifying process is feeling and expressing gratitude for what we already have. If we do not appreciate what is already present, it is easy to lose focus on what is ultimately important. Living simply with gratitude is key to living intently. Until we live with intention, it is easy to merely coast through life or stray from what we value.
To celebrate this birthday, I am embarking on a year long project, a daily practice of gratitude and reflection. Instagram is my favorite social media platform and I will be sharing an image each day with a note of appreciation. Some days will be deep and soulful while others may just be a pretty little or silly thing that caught my eye or made me smile. As I searched for gratitude projects online I stumbled upon 365 Grateful. Hailey Bartholomew, a filmmaker and photographer in Australia did just that in 2008 after meeting with a life coach who advised her the secret to happiness is reflection and gratitude. Self-reflection and gratitude can lead us down a positive path. On the flip side, those who do not reflect and appreciate their present are more likely to engage in poor life decisions as a result of their discontent. Hailey found the simple act of daily gratitude improved her marriage, spirituality and health.
I’ll be posting with the hashtags #mauishopgirl365 and #365Grateful. Please feel free to join me (and tag me) at any time. Your 365 can start on whatever day you wish. You can also follow my daily gratitude posting on Instagram – MauiShopGirl.
To read more about Hailey’s 365 project and film, visit 365 Grateful.
If you would like to embark on 365 days of gratitude but Instagram is not your thing, here are a few other options:
- A gratitude journal
- A daily tweet or facebook status update
- A scrapbook or sketch pad
- Chalkboard or white board on your desk or in your kitchen
- An email to a loved one or group of friends
- A phone app
- Jot your daily gratitude down on a small slip of paper to fill a mason or cookie jar.
- On origami or craft paper to be displayed
Also feel free to share what you are feeling grateful for today in the comments below.
Video via 365 Grateful on YouTube.