Thursday, August 20

Gratitude, Joy, Oneness and Service (Day 365) - Ten Thousand Days of Gratitude

I'm going to depart from our normal format today although I will briefly do my practice:

1. I am grateful for all the readers who have stuck with me and will, I hope, stick with me in the future.

2. I am grateful for gluten free cake and brownies.

3. I am grateful for beauty.

Joy - It is a joy celebrating a year of practice and knowing that I will not be stopping at this milestone.

Oneness - I have been doing a lot of writing and sharing my gratitude, expressing it to those to whom I am grateful in the past few days.  It serves only to increase my closeness to them.

Service - So, here is where I tell you what I have planned.

I'm not stopping.  And, in fact, I have created a new website for a magazine on Gratitude. 

There is research that indicates that well being is increased only if we do our gratitude practice 1-3 times per week, rather than every day.  I have to admit that it did feel burdensome at times.  And so, I am moving to experiment with a weekly post on gratitude for the week along with articles on other aspects of Gratitude. 

You can read more about it at....

But for mark this occasion:

For those who could not attend Sunday's milestone celebration of reaching 365 Days of Gratitude....

I am not one for big speeches but I wanted to just take a moment to thank you all for marking with me the passage of a milestone of 365 days of Gratitude practice. Well that's Actually a year of Gratitude, Joy, Oneness and Service.

I realise that some of you have followed me on Facebook some have followed my blog and some had no idea I was doing this at all. It really wasn't something I set out a year ago to do but as is the nature of the process, it kind of snowballed.

What began as a Facebook meme to post 3 things daily for which I am grateful quickly became a daily practice of appreciating 3 good things and noticing moments of joy. I felt the positive effects of the practice quickly and soon added a component of daily service and a daily practice of nurturing empathy, connection, compassion, awe and purpose. What started as a 7 days commitment snowballed into 21 days, a month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and now...a year of Gratitude, Joy, Oneness and Service.

And while we celebrate this milestone of a year, I am happy - and a little scared - to commit today to Ten Thousand Days of Gratitude practice and to continue to write about it. For you keen mathematicians and accountants here today, you will already have calculated that by the time I reach that milestone I will be more than 27 years 27.2 to be exact. If I am still around at that point, I will renew my vows, then.

You might wonder why I am making such a big commitment...well, it's simple... After studying to write drama and fiction, I quit writing stories several years ago because I just couldn't find my way to writing a happy ending. Writing about gratitude (and joy, oneness and service) has given me both the experience of and the ability to write about happiness. I think those who have been on the whole journey will agree that I have blossomed and I intend to see it through to the end.

I have already written a year's worth of gratitude journals and observations on the practice and now it's time to focus on shaping that into a book. I am also launching a new web magazine Ten Thousand Days of Gratitude dot com (That's a difficult one to type so I recommend you favourite it) and I am working to find a way to use my skills to work with the UK charity Action For Happiness.

My wish, if I can put it out there, is that others will pick up the practices and this will spread. So please, do spread the website far and wide.

I want to thank Ruth from Canvas café for giving us the space for our celebration, Street Art curator, Greg Key (@speckles76), for leading our lively street art tour, Dan Shears for providing us with some of his music, Luke Harvest for his work on setting up the website, C Michael Frey for the logo design, Faith Amy Romeo and Natasha Westover for being gratitude wall guardians, Debbie Heath for the original 7 day Facebook challenge, Paula Montgomery for prompting me to add Joy, all the street artists of London for the beautiful art that gave me so much joy, and Louis Masai for agreeing to be my first interview on my focus for the year ahead - Service. It hasn't happened yet so watch for it in upcoming posts. A big thank you to all my readers here and overseas.

And of course I want to thank you all for being a part of my life. You have each been a part of my daily practice. Without you, I wouldn't have much to say.

So, here's to you. Thank you.

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