Gratitude practice

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~William Arthur Ward

This week my creative assignment is to photograph the moments of my life. Those everyday scenes that pass by, almost without notice. Those brief snaps of time which are easily overlooked. Almost taken for granted. And if they were snatched away by some tragedy, might bring us to our knees in loss.

Easy, right? At first, I thought so. I love photographs, everything about them. Taking them, staring at them, playing with them on the computer, just everything. I started to assemble some images which may end up in my journal later this week. Turns out, not so easy to capture the little bits of my life that are part of my routine and are also moments I feel grateful for.

For example, I took this photo of the rain outside my window on a dark and dreary Monday morning. Am I grateful for the rain, no. I am actually grateful for all of it. The rain that powers my electricity, waters my plants, sweeps away the streets, fills the drinking aquifers, keeps the trees green all winter and the startling contrast it provides for the sunny days. If my window view were gone, or if the rain no longer fell – I would be sad and scared. (When I vacation in the Baja and dream about living there, I always wonder about the lack of water).

Rain

That was an easy one. What about my most treasured family members. How to capture them in a way that shows what I am most grateful for? While I can easily talk about my feelings of gratitude for them, it is proving difficult to get the right photo’s. In part, it is due to my children’s programming of popping on a smile whenever a camera is near. Uncanny, really.

Browns

Then myself. What kind of photograph can I take which shows gratitude? This is why Brene Brown warned us, “this won’t be as easy as you think.” Darn.

CW Shadow

Most importantly, this weeks lesson is about practice. Anything which is worth having will not come easily. Although, practicing something which moves me, happens to be fun as well. And the results are often great.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~John F. Kennedy

Welcome

I am a normal person. I work a fulltime job, married for almost 2 decades and have 2 great kids. We are working at paying off our house that is ideally located close to an ocean and abundant forests. We have enough disposable income to enjoy the extras in life.

Yet, as I read the newspaper, watch TV or listen to the radio on the drive into work – the daily coverage of the world would have me think that there is no one like me out there.  The majority of the stories are about all that is wrong, bad and unhappy in the world. Of course that can’t be the only version of reality.

My blog will be a collection of ideas, resources and photographs that can be used as a source book of sorts to acknowledge and remember all “The Good Stuff” that is constantly happening all around us. Sometimes I wonder if a negative view of the world is part of the problem; the glass half empty instead of half full. Yet at other times, I am astonished to discover a new technology or idea that is truly some of the good stuff, yet still has not been able to get any decent amount of news coverage.

Good thing for me that this type of interactive journal has become possible. It is an amazing time to be alive and be relatively young enough to experience technology in this way.

Welcome to The Good Life List!

Enjoy!

-CW