365 Grateful blog



THE WINNER IS!!!.....

Hailey Bartholomew - Wednesday, May 09, 2012

This Fuji Instax grateful competition has been a complete delight.

My inbox has been filling up with amazing and beautiful 'gratefuls' that have inspired and moved me. I don't want it to end! If you just feel like sending in gratefuls to our email (stories@365grateful.com) please do! We might need to do a regular grateful feature here I think!

I can't thank you enough for entering and sharing with us your stories!!

I am very glad that this competition was not really judged because it would have been way too tricky to pick a winner. So many gratefuls and each one so beautiful!! Here are a few pics of us drawing the winner out of a hat!!

Also here is our dog eating it!! ;) 

Probably the most moving was this video below! Special thanks to Kirsteen for letting us share this here:

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"I am grateful my husband made it through!

Here is our story (my message to him)


And although he has lost his short term memory I am SO incredibly grateful he kept the moments that really mattered in our lives together.  I am now on a life long mission of documenting our day to day life so that he can have a way to retain the memories of the life that will slip by him."

Kirsteen James

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Very special thanks to FUJI for making this whole competition possible. Please do go and like their FB page to show them we are so grateful!! Fuji Instax FB

 

Now time to announce the lovely winner of this competition!!

 (DRUM ROLL please... The winner is... FIONA FITZPATRICK!

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"I’m grateful for the gift of creativity…the opportunity to make art about my life and to be able to share that wonderful process with others.  I am blessed."
 
 
Fiona Fitzpatrick,
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Once again many thanks to the many people who entered and shared with us. We are so grateful and look forward to running some more competitions and fun things in the months ahead.

 

warmest

 

Hailey

 



Guest Post - Lori Portka - A Tuscan Villa

Hailey Bartholomew - Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Great to have another post from Lori - one that is very easy to relate to!  I usually freak out when I miss out on something so this is a great reminder to me to view those times differently.  Thanks Lori!



The Tuscan Villa

In the United States, this is Thanksgiving week.  It is a big holiday in this country filled with family and feasting, thanks and giving.  I will be spending this Thanksgiving at home alone with my two dogs.  I know that sounds like a sad story. At first I was sad and I actually didn’t handle it very well (many meltdowns, lots of crying.)  See, my Italian husband is in Italy this week with his entire Italian family (I refer lovingly to them as, The Italians.)    

For various reasons, I decided not to join them.  I felt so sorry for myself that I was missing out on all of the fun.  I even felt left-out, although it was my choice not to go.    It’s interesting how my mind can make up stories out of things that aren’t true and the story leads to misery.  I spun around in that unfortunate mess for a few days.

But again, like so many times in my life, gratitude has come to the rescue.  I asked for a change in perspective- a new way to view this holiday and situation with love and gratitude instead of anger and envy.  Later that day, as I was washing the dishes, I began to feel gratitude pouring over me.  I felt happy for my husband and the rest of The Italians, giddy almost, that they were going.  I felt grateful for the time to myself.  Having quiet time with my dogs to do whatever I want?  Fabulous!  This is an incredibly busy time of year with my art business and more than once this season I have felt overwhelmed.  This would be a week of quiet, to package and mail orders, paint, have lunch with friends, read, and eat my favorite soups.  Delightful!  I also felt grateful that my art business continues to grow, making it really hard for me to travel at all this time of year.  The kindest thing to do for myself is to stay home.  I felt so grateful for the choices that I have.  I felt so grateful for the family I adore so much.

It’s true, I will probably tear up a bit on Thanksgiving Day when they will all be in Tuscany staying at the villa my husband and I stayed in on our honeymoon.  I loved everything about that place so much that I actually cried when we left.  I made a painting for the B&B owner for my Hundred Thank Yous project (part of which you will see below). 

I imagine myself going back there one day.  Maybe I will get to give her the painting in person!  For now, I will send love to all my people who are laughing, feasting, taking in the beauty and enjoying each other.  I will send love to myself this week by doing what I want to do and showering myself with kindness.  All is well.






Guest Post - Lori - Practicing Gratitude

Hailey Bartholomew - Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lori has been doing the most amazing paintings as a grateful project.  You can like her Facebook and check out more of her work.

Practicing Gratitude

Wow, all my paintings for my gratitude project are on my art table right now!  I decided to get myself organized since I am three-quarters of the way through it. 

When I look at this pile of goodness, I want to jump up and down and clap my hands and laugh endlessly.  I CANNOT WAIT to give them all away!  I want to start flapping my arms and spinning in circles around the table.  Maybe even do cartwheels.  This is a joy pile.  A love montage.

I have never done anything in my life that has made me as happy as working on these paintings. 

This project places gratitude front and center- in my mind, in my heart.  This is where I want gratitude to stay.  I have learned that being grateful is a practice.  I need to keep it in my mind at all times or I can easily slide into ungrateful complaining about the little irritations in life.

I’ve also noticed a surprising connection between gratitude and fear.  When I’m aligned with gratitude the fear often disappears. 

In fact, it happened today.  I checked our bank account on-line and noticed that there was only $64.00 in checking…$64.00!  That was WAY less than I was expecting.  Minor meltdown.  Deep breath.  Oh, okay, this makes sense.  Lots of extra expenses I had forgotten about.  Okay, now let’s transfer PayPal money over to checking.  Thank goodness for the money I have in PayPal.  Thank goodness someone created PayPal so people can conveniently buy my work from afar and have it delivered to their doorstep.  It opens my market as big as the universe!  Thank you PayPal.  Okay, I also have two checks from my local cooperative art gallery.  I’ll go to the bank today and deposit them.  Thank you Cazenovia Artisans!  I already went grocery shopping, kitchen is stocked.  I am so grateful.  Gas tanks are filled.  Thank you. 

 

One minute, “Oh my God, there is NO money!”  Next minute, “I am so grateful for all that I have.”   My fear turned to gratitude and appreciation.  Thank goodness!

I have already decided that once this project is over and I hold the exhibition and have given all 100 paintings away, I will still continue this active gratitude practice in some way. 

 

I want to keep my grateful heart.  





Guest Post - Lori - A True Healer

Hailey Bartholomew - Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thanks Lori, we love you sending us your wonderful blogs!   toni


A True Healer

When I got divorced I noticed that my jaw hurt so badly and at times, I could barely open my mouth to eat with out significant pain.  TMJ.   This problem would come and go over the years.  Finally, my dentist recommended that I go through a complex procedure to fix my jaw involving several different stages of corrective retainers, massive amounts of pain and recovery time, and thousands of dollars.  I left the office in tears and of course, called my best friend.

“Go to a Chiropractor,” she said.  She knew about this since she also developed TMJ during her divorce. 

Another friend recommended chiropractor, Dr. Mara.  The first time I went to see her I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that I hardly knew what to say.  Everything she said made sense to me.  The adjustments she made to my spine changed the way I walk, stand and hold my shoulders and increased the level of confidence I feel.  I began to feel relief in my jaw and head right away.  I still see Dr. Mara today for maintenance.  From time to time when my jaw flairs up again (stress!) or I have hip or shoulder aches, I know she will work with me until it is better.  I am grateful beyond words for her healing work.

This is a piece of the painting I made for her for her with abundant love and thankfulness

(for my Hundred Thank Yous Project.)




365 Grateful - a documentary about the extraordinary power of gratitude

 



Guest Post - Lori - Lessons Learned in Gratitude

Hailey Bartholomew - Sunday, September 18, 2011

Again we are honored to have another guest post from Lori....



I took the month of August off from making any paintings in my grateful project.  I was taking three trips out of town that month.  Plus, I had been working on the paintings since January and as a result, had let other business and personal matters take a back seat.  I thought a break would be good for my creative spirit and I would return to painting in September renewed and ready to continue my project. 


But an interesting thing happened.  


In stepping away from my project, I ended up stepping away from gratitude.  A couple of weeks into August I noticed that I just didn’t feel as good.  I started taking everything more seriously.  I started worrying and fretting and feeling sorry for myself. 


I recently told a story on my blog about how I spiraled down into an angry pit when I heard we were being dropped from our home owners insurance after making 3 claims in 5 years.  I started feeling very angry.  The next thing I knew I was feeling angry and sorry for myself for a huge list of things.  Everything in my world just seemed so unjustified.  I kept adding to the list of problems and woes.  I was even starting to feel a little hopeless. 


Thankfully, after a good long while of spinning horribly negative stories in my head, I stopped and realized that I was completely and utterly ungrateful in that moment.


I took in a deep breath.  I believe in living with a grateful heart.  I believe life gives us only what we can handle and that there are seeds of goodness in every problem. 


What would this all look like if I were grateful?


Suddenly, I was flooded with thoughts of all that was wonderful about the situation.


How amazing that we had homeowners insurance in 2007 that fixed the ice dam that left cold water gushing down the wall and into our home in the middle of a snowy winter.  How wonderful that we had insurance in 2009 when we had a literal shit-storm in our basement when the sewer backed up and swamped the entire basement floor.  (I am still little traumatized by that.)  But, it was cleared out and cleaned up in one day by a team of 4 beautiful people in hazmat suits serving the world in such an incredible way.  We were never harmed, it was covered financially, and there is no trace of the mess today.


I was flooded with gratitude.


Thank goodness my only car accidents have been “scratches & dings” in parking lots.  How wonderful that I have never had a serious accident on the road!  I thought of the woman I saw on the Today Show that morning while at the gym, who had to learn to walk again after suffering a horrific car accident that landed her in a coma with a broken spine.  I thought about how filled with gratitude she was for her life and how I had tears running down my face on the treadmill as I watched her live with such courage and thankfulness.  Wow, how awesome that my accident was in a parking lot and no one was hurt!  Suddenly, paying a little more money for car insurance seems like a gift in itself. 


By this time there were tears in my eyes. 


I read recently that if everyone put all of their problems in a pile, up for grabs, that we would all end up taking our own problems back. 


I realized at the end of that angry day that I will work to make gratitude a central part of my life forever.  It is a nicer way to live.  It makes me warmer, kinder, more loving to myself and others.  It is so easy and simple to do.  And, it doesn’t mean I won’t get angry or jealous or hurt.  I can allow myself to feel all of my feelings and honor them.  But importantly, honor myself by getting back to gratitude.


Gratitude really is the sweetest thing.  (Now I’m feeling grateful for gratitude!)


Links:  My blog: 







Guest Post: Lori 'We met in Boston, remember?"

Hailey Bartholomew - Sunday, September 11, 2011

It is has been a while since we heard from the lovely Lori, our New York guest poster.  Please visit her wonderful site  "100 Thank Yous"


From Lori:

I love to read.  I love to carry books around with me and leave them in stacks around my home, just waiting to be read.  Books are one of the things I am most grateful for in the world. 

One of my favorite authors is David Sedaris.   He is witty, honest, and brilliant and throws in just the right about of sarcasm and charm that make his writing irresistible.  Most of his stories are about pieces of his life, often filled with such craziness it is nearly awful and yet he shares it with hilarity and kindness, reminding me of the flawed humanness that exists in all of us.

One morning while on a weekend trip to Boston, I was traveling around town with my step-daughter while my husband was working.  We were browsing in a neighborhood bookstore when I over heard a man say, “Hello, I’m David Sedaris.” I whipped my head around, star struck.  There he was in person, doing a book-signing.  We immediately bought his latest book and walked up to where he was sitting. 

He asked if Katie was my daughter.  We both replied, “step-daughter” in unison.  David smiled, leaned in toward Katie and said in a slightly wicked voice, “I see.  Is she an eeee-vil step-mother?”  Katie thought that was the funniest thing she had ever heard.  Then he signed my book, “We met in Boston, remember?” 

I have to say that meeting David changed the course of the rest of the day for Katie and me.  We started out the morning a little tired and stressed, unsure of how we were going to spend our day.  The surprise of meeting David lightened things up for us.  We were more fun-loving and grateful and met the rest of the day knowing that wonderful new surprises could be right around the corner.

I made this painting for David Sedaris as part of my Hundred Thank Yous project.  I am very grateful for my brief encounter with him that day in Boston.  It still makes me smile every time I think about it.

Link to David Sedaris: 




365 Grateful - a documentary about the extraordinary power of gratitude.



Guest Post - Lori - Closer to Calm

Hailey Bartholomew - Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Another great Guest Post from Lori.


I can be a stressed-out kind of person. 

This is why I love to surround myself with people (like this beautiful friend in the painting) who consistently have a relaxed and peaceful energy around them.  Just being near this person fills me with peace.

See, I want to be the kind of person who rolls with life’s ups and downs.  Who is quiet and composed in the center, even when the rest of the world is loosing their marbles.  

The truth is that I am so much closer to calm since I have started my Hundred Thank Yous Project.  I am not sure exactly why this project having such an effect on me, but I do notice that I am less reactive than I used to be. What I notice is that when I am super grouchy or stressed out, gratitude is missing.  I notice that I am not being grateful and instead have “the complaining tape” running on repeat in my brain.  That tape is not helpful for a happy life.

I think my gratitude project has made being grateful a normal part of what I do every day.  So when I am not in my grateful space, I notice it and am better able to switch my thoughts from what’s wrong to what is good in life.  Even if I am so grouchy that I can only think of one good thing - that’s a start - a little bright spark and eventually things begin to look up again.

I may never be as calm as my friend who I adore.  But I can bask in her peaceful glow and know that one day it may begin to wear off on me.




Link: Hundred Thank yous     



365 Grateful - a documentary about the extraordinary of gratitude.




Guest Post - Lori - Thank Your For Your Music

Hailey Bartholomew - Monday, June 06, 2011

This week our Guest Post is from Lori who is doing the amazingly special 100 Thank Yous.

 


If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.
Meister Eckhart

 


I made this painting for David and Mira Newman, two beautiful musicians that I have been lucky enough to meet in person when they performed at my local yoga center.  Their music touches my heart in a way that it often makes tears well up in my eyes! 

 


A few days after I finished this painting, I got an email newsletter from David and Mira announcing the birth of their baby, May 2, 2011 at 6:16 PM.  I realized that the day Mira gave birth was the day I started on their painting.  I loved that that they were in my thoughts and I was sending them love that entire day.  It felt like such a sweet connection, one that I hadn’t planned on, but just sort of happened.

 


At first I didn’t notice, but similar stories of connection have happened so many times since I started the Hundred Thank Yous project.  It makes me think that my paintings in this project are actually prayers.  Prayers of love and well-being for people I care about.  I believe the paintings carry the energy of deep, heartfelt gratitude that I hope will be a blessing in their homes, one that lasts a lifetime.







At the moment all comments are turned off while we transition to our new website, please comment on Facebook.


365 Grateful - A documentary about the extraordinary power of Gratitude!

 

 




365 grateful - Hailey - creating with my kids

Hailey Bartholomew - Saturday, April 16, 2011
I am grateful for the life of learning and fun we have with our children. We Un-School our kids. It is one of the best decisions we ever made!

Poppy and I have been researching artists. We looked at artist that are into more passionate expressive work rather then beautiful details. We were looking at Jackson Pollock's work which we both love.
Poppy was inspired and came up with her own way of creating something with that kind of feel. She asked if we could fill balloons with paint and put pins in the canvas and pop the balloons onto the canvas.
Nothing is more fun to me then trying fun experiments like this! So we did!

I am grateful for the learning journey that I get to share with my kids. The way each day is different and free to be individual to them. I love seeing my girls explore and enjoy the world. Watching them find their own passions and way forward. I am so honored to be able to do this. So grateful to have a job that can work around this lifestyle choice. So grateful for the extra time we have with these precious people who continue to inspire me!
Seeing our girls try new things and express themselves and find things they love is one of my life's greatest joys!





and here is a great site I just found!!
http://www.born-to-learn.org/

365 grateful - Hailey - mini break

Hailey Bartholomew - Saturday, March 26, 2011
I am extremely grateful for little trips away!
Sometimes while working away from home we take the time to hang out and visit beautiful friends.
My darling friend Alison recently moved to the Beautiful Byron Bay and kindly let us stay with her. It was magic and delight for my soul. Beautiful countryside, chickens to chase, collecting eggs, dog to walk, fresh green grass, butterflies mating, views, and best of all Alison herself. I left with my heart full of good talks and beautiful serene scenery.

I think chickens are the best pet in the world... I dream of owning chickens again. Seriously I took so many photos of these guys they are hilarious!! I think I want to do more chicken photography!