365 Grateful blog

Guest Post - Sarah Davies

Hailey Bartholomew - Thursday, December 22, 2011

Another lovely post from Sarah as she embraces her new life in Tasmania. Thanks Sarah!

Okay, so I must confess that I have been withholding on writing another entry because frankly I’ve been a little gloomy.

We moved to Tasmania on the 17th of November. Dan’s new job on “The farm” came with a house on 63acres, overlooking the cherry trees. When we arrived at the house however we found that it had been left in slight disarray after its previous tenants. It wasn’t anything major, just surface stuff but when you move interstate for a new job and dream of a house on a farm overlooking the trees it feels so idyllic.

To arrive and find it filthy and overgrown was a shock to the system. I spent a few days living out of suitcases adamant to move as soon as we could. Then I resigned myself to holding out for a better place. Now finally, I have dug deep and accepted the farmhouse to be our home and have quit my complaining and have been attempting to make it feel that way.

Surface by surface, I have cleaned and scrubbed. We have trimmed hedges and bushes and rearranged furniture countless times and finally I am beginning to feel at peace in this space. Not without a lot of complaining and grizzling and turning my nose up in disgust. Not without getting cranky at the kids or saying to the hubby “It’s okay for you, you get to go to work and don’t have to be stuck here in this place!”

I must admit that in the move I have misplaced my grateful journal and then in my grumpiness I have not given an adequate attempt to find it. It can be so much easier to be grumpy at times.

I wanted to be able to write some fabulously heart warming and inspiring entry on beauty and another lesson in the gloriousness that is being grateful. I wanted it to be motivating and uplifting and make everyone think “Yeah, that’s so true. How nice to be reminded of that.”

I didn’t want to waft on about little things like beautiful sunsets over the mountains of Tassie right outside my kitchen window. About my kids playing on the blue beach and the four of us spending the entire day exploring the clear rock pools for treasures. I didn’t want to write about the day we spent baking when I finally got past the layers of grease in the oven. My little boys face covered in chocolate ganache and his mouth swollen with cake as he tried to squeeze out the words “More Cake Peese Mum”. Our pretty dog Milly bounding over the tall grasses of the field beyond our gate, with a smile so huge I thought her ears might lift her off the ground. My husband heading out on an errand Sunday, only to return with a huge pot with a large lavender plant in it, “To cheer up your kitchen”, he said behind a crooked grin. I thought these little things would be boring. However in sweeping up more cake crumbs this morning I realised that it is the little things in life that make us all happy.

Too often we all try to sit back and hold straight faces and look “all together”. Too often we gather in the company of friends and hide that we’ve been narky with the hubby and short fused with the kids. Too often life is about seeking some grand bigger picture, when in fact we are all living snaps shots of tiny moments linked together to create each unique journey.

It’s how we behave in the cruddy moments that make us worthy of holding our heads high. It’s how we notice the sunshine on the grass in between rain showers. How we laugh with our children. How we show love to our spouse. How we dance in our P.J’s.

It is the little things that make life beautiful no matter where we live, how we live or how tough things might feel at times.

The little things in fact need to be mentioned, for they are my saving graces.

For these I am grateful….

Baked Delights,

Bumble Bee on our raspberry bush,

Running on the beach,

Laughing Baby on the Trampoline,

Lovely Lavender!

Grateful. Xo

MERRY CHRISTMAS - our December Newsletter for those who didn't get it.

Hailey Bartholomew - Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I hope it is a truly special time of year for each of you.   Summer has just begun here in Australia and I am so happy - I love the heat and the beach.

To celebrate Christmas I thought you may like to watch this beautiful TED TALK on gratitude (surprise!) by master image maker Louie Schwartzberg.  It is 10 minutes long and reminds me of how wonderful the world truly is.  

The words & voice of the older man are those of Brother David Steindl-Rast  - a Benedictine monk who has incredible insight on the subject of gratitude. In 2000 Br David founded A Network for Grateful Living,  a place where you will find some interesting writing on the subject of gratitude like this little Christmas message.


Although we want Christmas time to be a happy time of family connection, for many people it is anything but.

It isn’t only the practicalities of the shopping, the parking or trying to fit in as many things as you can in such a short period of time (for some reason everyone seems to want everything done by Christmas) it is also the social side.   There are families to deal with, work parties, invites from every corner or no family to be with and no invites at all – top that off with overindulgence and too much spending then Christmas can be a recipe for significant stress.

Professor Bruce McEwan  (Rockerfeller Uni) has done research that shows stress can be linked to almost every disease there is and causes no end of chaos in the physical body.   It even effects the way our brains work.

There is a lot of research around – especially in the new world of neuroplasticity - that shows stress can be significantly reduced by the daily practice of gratitude.  According to the book Thanks  by Prof Robert Emmons the stress hormone cortisol was reduced by 23% in only 30 days by a group of people simply thinking appreciative thoughts for 15 min a day.

Reducing stress is yet another of the extraordinary effects of gratitude and one great reason why we feel it is so important that the world knows more about this simple, easy and free practice of gratitude. 


The main project I (Toni) have been working on lately is called the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge.  Over the last year I have been doing lots of research into gratitude and also into how the brain/mind works.  It has been eye opening to say the least.  What I found - scientific reasons why gratitude has such a profound impact on how life is experienced - excited me so much that I wrote a workshop (with a follow up of 30 email activities) about my discoveries.

In September the very first 30 Day Gratitude Challenge was run in a corporate setting and my very first customer was BMC / BHP Billiton  (yeah I know!  amazing! talk about grateful.). The response to that workshop was better than I had hoped and all the workshops I have presented since have met with great feedback.  It is profoundly moving to be involved with these groups of people and see them make very simple changes that can positively impact the remainder of their lives. Many people have commented that they are leaving the workshop with hope - I love that -  imagine a world full of hope.

Attendees have been keen to have an avenue for their friends and family to experience the workshop so I have also developed a 30 Day Gratitude Life Class that I am presenting publicly. To find out more about the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge and upcoming Life Classes (Brisbane and Sunshine Coast) …..  feel free to visit the rather newish website here.

If you like this idea maybe you would LIKE my new Facebook page.


This month Amy Gill sent in a great blog about the Christmas Season called Tis the Season to be Thankful.   Enjoy.  


So, where are we up to on the film?   There is not much to report except to say that the film is on the shelf temporarily while other projects demand our attention.  Hailey has been to India a few times recently working on some exciting projects  - check out the photos and more photos and she is also developing what will be a wonderful book.  That girl is amazing!

We anticipate some changes to our original plans for the film will need to be made and will let you know in the New Year when we know what is happening with all of it. 

In the meantime, you have a wonderful New Year filled with special moments!              Toni.