Day 365: Finish Lines
When most of us approach a finish line we are exhausted, spent, and down right worn out. I found myself procrastinating these past couple of weeks in taking the final pictures for this project. It wasn’t because I was worn out; but rather because I didn’t want it to end. The 365 Grateful Project has without a doubt been one of the most rewarding journeys in my life. When I first started the project, I found myself eager to search out various gifts of gratitude. But, as the project progressed, I realized I didn’t need to search; there was so much around me at any given moment. There were times I found myself wishing I had my camera and eventually I learned I never needed the camera. The camera was an outward lens, ultimately, just a tool to shape my inner lens and the way in which I viewed the world and life itself. The external became internal. It brought about a complete paradigm shift, one centered in thanksgiving, awareness, appreciation, and love.
I learned that when you look for gratitude, you find it. Even on the hardest of days. You may find it in something as simple as breath itself, the promise of a new day, or the support of a friend or loved one. You’ll find your senses and awareness begin to explode. You’ll feel the tickle of tiny soap bubbles while doing the dishes, see light and shadows dance as they never have before, hear the sweet melodies of birds and belly-laughs of children echoing from every which direction. Your taste buds will savor every delicious morsel of food and drink, and you will take notice of how various smells aid in both recalling and forming memories. You will recognize gifts through mistakes and unforeseen events.
When you begin to experience gratitude at its deeper levels it leaves you speechless and full of wonder. I realized there wasn’t a picture I could take or paragraph I could write to fully share my experience or moment. Much like love, gratitude is impossible to capture or express, and you begin to see that your cup is constantly overflowing. Before you know it, gratitude finds you and leaves you with a heart full of appreciation for even the tiniest things in life. You find yourself awe-struck by the many miracles that have been happening all around you.
The 365 Grateful Project has been an exciting journey that has helped me to view all aspects of life through rose-colored glasses. Reaching the finish line has left me with a renewed energy and a realization that this is really just a new beginning. It is an invitation to live each moment with full awareness, a challenge to find the beautiful and perfect in every situation; life is transformed into an exciting playing field allowing for constant search, practice, and implementation. My hope is to encourage others to embark on a similar journey. I challenge you to make a conscious effort every day to specify something you are grateful for. Partner with a friend and text each other, say it out loud, but somehow verbalize or express it to bring it to life. Start with a 30-day challenge and see the gifts it brings along the way. May this project serve as a spark to light a wildfire of gratefulness around the globe. I promise you, my friends, it is a journey worth taking and made all the sweeter when shared with friends! May the gifts of gratitude find you and overwhelm you.
Wishing you Peace, Love, and Gratefulness Always,