Saturday, 26 April 2014

Starting next week

From May 1st we are going to start practising gratitude.  And include some art on the way.  However you don't need to take part in the art challenges if you don't wish to.  There are so many ways to take part. Please do read previous posts on this blog.

So how will this work?
Each weekday for the month of May there will be a blog post with links and prompts.  To ensure you get each post sign up for emails by putting your email address in the subscription box at the bottom of this blog. Or follow along in whichever way you normally follow blogs.

Each post will include:

A Theme
Rather than just leaving you to think up 3 or 5 things that you're grateful for on that day I have chosen a daily theme.  Each theme is a verb so it involves an action of some kind.

A Quote
There will be a quote either related to gratitude or more likely related to the day's theme.  Some will be serious and some will be a bit off-beat.

A Bible Verse
As a Christian myself I want my Gratitude Journal to be about thanking God and so I have included a Bible verse each day.  However just ignore it if it doesn't mean anything to you.

Where possible I have found videos, blogs or websites to provide inspiration for the day's theme.  Some might be a bit silly.

A Gratitude Link
This will be a link to a blog or a website about gratitude.

A Journaling Prompt
There will be questions for you to think about on the day's theme.  You can answer them or just use them to get you thinking.

Technique Challenge
Every few days there will be some technique challenges to include in your journal.  This will be particularly for those keeping creative journals.  Keep reading even if that's not what you want to do.

Where possible I have found videos to demonstrate the techniques or I will have added photos of examples.  There is a pdf to download with links to the videos.  It is available on each blog post but you only need to download it once for each few days of a technique.

An Action
Each day there will be a suggested action for us to take to practise gratitude.

Facebook Group
There is a group on Facebook (which was set up in 2012) where you can share your work or ask questions.  If you joined the group last year then you are already in!

At the end of each post there will be an opportunity to link your day's page to the blog to share with other readers.  This can be a link to your blog, or if you haven't got a blog please use the Flickr group.

I have set up the Flickr group and if you already have a Flickr account please ask to join.  If you don't have a Flickr account it is easy to join and it is free.

The group has been set up for the photos to be public but any discussions to be for members only.

There will be a PDF each day to download (and print) with all the day's information and links so that you don't have to be continually looking at the blog.

For information about how you might make your Gratitude Journal click on the links below to see my previous posts.  It can be as simple as getting a small notebook and writing down things that come to mind as you read the blog.  It need be no more than that.  Or you can get involved in the techniques and challenges.
Make Your Own Art Journal            Journals

Remember the only rule is: this is your journal and you do it the way you want to. Other than that there are no rules.

I am doing my journal using an altered book but you can use whatever journal or media you wish for your project.

This has been a long post and I'm sorry there were no photos to break it up a bit.  Thanks for sticking with it to the end.


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Practising Gratitude

In 2012 and 2013 I ran Attitude of Gratitude challenge blogs.  We all had a great time and I am thrilled to be hosting a third challenge blog on gratitude.  The first two blogs were through the month of November but I thought that it would be great to be thankful at other times of the year.

I was very taken by Brené Brown in her book 'The Gifts of Imperfection' when she wrote:

"For years, I subscribed to the notion of "an attitude of gratitude".  I've since learned that an attitude is an orientation or a way of thinking and that "having an attitude" doesn't always translate to a behavior.

For example, it would be reasonable to say that I have a yoga attitude.   The ideals and beliefs that guide my life are very in line with the ideas and beliefs that I associate with yoga.   I value mindfulness, breathing, and the body-mind-spirit connection.  I even have yoga outfits.  But, let me assure you, my yoga attitude and outfits don't mean jack if you put me on a yoga mat and ask me to stand on my head or strike a pose.   As I'm sitting here writing this, I've never practiced yoga.  I plan to change that between now and the time you're holding this book in your hand, but to date, I've never put the attitude into action.  So where it really matters - on the mat - my yoga attitude doesn't count for much.

So, what does a gratitude practice look like?   The folks I interviewed talked about keeping gratitude journals, doing daily gratitude meditation or prayers, creating gratitude art, and even stopping during their stressful busy days to actually say these words out loud: "I am grateful for . . ."  When the Wholehearted talk about gratitude, there are whole bunch of verbs involved.

It seems that gratitude without practice may be a little lie faith without works - it's not alive."

Here is Brené talking about practising gratitude.

I was fascinated by the 'whole bunch of verbs' comment and so for the blog in May I have deliberately chosen verbs as the theme for each day and have included an action to do each day.   You may not be able to do the action on that particular day but you can be practising other actions.  In all we will have 21 days of art, thinking and practising gratitude.  I hope that by the end of May we will have moved from 'having an attitude' to a lifestyle of gratitude.

Find out about my journal for this project.

I hope you will join me.   To make sure you don't miss any of the blog posts complete the Email Subscription below to sign up for emails or follow by whatever means you usually follow blogs.

See you next week for more information on how The Art of Practising Gratitude will work.  Watch out for #21daysinMay2014.