365 days of gratitude

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I recently saw a video of a mom in Australia who was suffering from some depression and needed something to draw her out. She decided to spend a year deeply focused on gratitude and, being a photographer, took a pic each day of something she was grateful for. She calls her project 365grateful and is making a documentary about her journey. What’s remarkable, is that she has inspired many people to do the same and is gathering all these projects together, #365grateful.

I too have been battling some depression and spending entirely too much time wallowing in what I don’t have, or think I need, and not nearly enough time feeling grateful for all that I have…and I have a lot! Being a writer and an activist, I spend an enormous amount of time looking down. I fall into an insular world of words and images and sometimes I don’t stop to eat, or notice that it’s dark and my dog is desperate for a walk…not to mention my three year old, helping herself to chocolate milk in the fridge.

But before I labeled myself so concretely, I used to take pictures. I have boxes and boxes of images from my twenties and I have been caught breathless looking through a camera lens enough times to know the power of expression through images.

In an effort to do something new, to relate to the phenomenal world more, and to inspire my current self to take notes from my former self, I am embarking on my own 365 days of gratitude…pictorially! Who knows what the year ahead holds. 2013 was painful and scary and exhilarating and fresh.

I will post a picture here every day for the next year. If you want to follow along, subscribe to my RSS feed or follow me on twitter #kiriwestby. If you also want to enter into a year-long practice of gratitude, in whatever medium moves you, please join me and link to your project in the comments below. I hope you do, because we are what we think and gratitude is the vehicle to happiness.

And, in classic Kiri fashion, I’m starting my project on January 2nd. So I guess that means I’ll end it with 2015’s New Years Day post.

Happy New Year everyone, here’s to feeling fuller and looking up,
Kiri

This morning I’m grateful for the undying love and attention I get in the mornings from my cat Estrellita. Some people don’t even know I have a cat, because she learned to hide from strangers as a baby kitten on the streets of Patzcuaro, Mexico. But she is my secret pre-dawn-best-friend and her cuddles are the best!

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6 responses »

  1. I think pictures remind us of the good times in our lives. This holiday season we were making homemade gifts and had the chance to go through our old family pictures. A flood of wonderful memories was unleashed! Have fun with your gratitude project. Stop by my blog and share something your thankful for. Gratitude is a habit. Using your camera is great way to focus on a happy moment of the day!

    • Yes Linda! Thanks for commenting. As a stay-at-home-mom who was once a jet-setting-activist, I tend to forget all that I have, as I pine for my former freedoms. Everyday between 10:00-10:30 this year, I will stop and ponder all that I have and then take a pic of something around me that I am grateful for. I will check out your blog for sure!

  2. A very ambitious project dear woman. You make me smile in anticipation of what the next day might bring. As we say Down Under, Good onya!

  3. “Everything reverts back to being genuine. Whenever there’s a gap, the only way to be a warrior is to refer back to the genuineness, which is somewhat raw and so tender and painful. That is the saving grace or the safety precaution, so that the warrior never goes astray and never grows a thick skin.” CTR

  4. I’m so in. And yes, I’m starting on January second (always late to the party, if I go at all) and I’ll just tell you right now that my 365 photos will definitely not be posted on 365 different days. One of my New Year’s realizations is to give up any resolution followed by the words “every day.” It’s just never gonna happen : ) http://apiarystudio.tumblr.com/

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