In 2005 Hailey Bartholomew was feeling down – though she couldn’t quite put her finger on why. From the outside, her world seemed like a fulfilling place; a good job, a good husband, a roof over her head, all and all, even she had to admit she had it good. But for some reason, there was still something missing. One day, she brought up the issue with her life coach, who suggested she take time each day to write down something she was grateful for. Her councilor (who is also a Nun) emphasized that the key to happiness is reflection and gratitude.
So Hailey decided to give it a shot, and she quickly began to notice all sorts of small moments and daily life minutia that she had been missing for so long. Delighted with the early results, Bartholomew – a photographer at heart – decided to take the project one step further, and began to take a picture a day of something she was grateful for. At the end of the year the result was an astonishing album full of 365 photos, memories, and most of all, gratitude.
In her own words (via 365grateful.com):
“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. It was not long before it was hard to only take a single photo each day. The more I noticed and took photos the more I began to notice the good and great moments in my life and want to capture them.”
I first learned about this project a few days ago when friend of mine posted a link to it on Facebook, challenging people to join her in the daily reflection, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Being that one of our family resolutions this year is to nurture ourselves emotionally and spiritually as well as physically, I really feel as though this is a great place to start! So even though I would have ideally liked to start on the first of the year, I’ve decided to dive in a couple of days late and make up for lost time. Here are a few of the things I’ve been grateful for so far in 2014:
What are you grateful for this New Year? Be sure to follow The Hand-Written Life on Instagram to see the entire 365 Grateful project as it unfolds. You can also join me in the challenge yourself, by using the hash-tag #365Grateful on Twitter. And don’t forget to Click Here to Like Andrea Kelly at The Hand-Written Life on Facebook!
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Do you keep some form of gratitude journal? How has your perspective on life changed since beginning the project?
To learn more about the 365 Grateful movement be sure to check out the official website here,
You can also take a peek at some of Hailey’s original 365 grateful photos on Flickr.