I chose this painting because the numerous layers in the background of this painting represent how you can look at things differently each time. Every time you look at it you see another detail that you hadn’t seen before and is hidden beauty.

Firstly thank you Louise for inviting me to guest post.

Gratefulness to me is an fundamental part of living a full and happy life. To say ‘full and happy life’ sounds a bit cheesy and simple on its own, but sometimes it is just that simple. On the other hand, it’s much more than that. Gratefulness makes you appreciate the little things, even when all seems lost, there is always something to be grateful for, there is always something to appreciate, to hold on to, to cherish. Being grateful amplifies the beauty in your life, the passion that you have for the things that you love doing intensified, the love that you have for the people in your life is strengthened, the passion that you have for life is enhanced, your creativity is enlivened.

To me being grateful has such a positive impact on my life that I couldn’t imagine a life without it. It is part of my daily practice to find at least 5 things to be grateful for. I either sit at the end of the day and write them in my journal or if time hasn’t permitted me to do that, I spend a few minutes before sleep listing them in my head and giving thanks to the universe for them. One of my favourite quotes is “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” It is all about how you see things, how you look at a situation. Imagine if you took every situation, good or bad and reframed how you looked at it, found the reason to be grateful for it and found the positive in it. I think we would all be living a more full and happy life if we did this on a daily basis.

I am grateful for my art.
In so many ways art is an integral part of who I am. My mother is an artist and was the first person who inspired me to draw and paint. It is a way to connect to my soul, to find myself when I am feeling overwhelmed, it is a way to express my true self. Through art, I have also been given the opportunity to share my passion for art through teaching. Through art, I have made some of my most cherished friendships and have met the most amazing people.

I am grateful for my friendships.
I am not a person who celebrates the amount of friends I have, I celebrate who I have as friends, a group of close friends who I ‘get’ and who ‘get’ me. I firmly believe that everyone is in your life for a reason, whether it is for a season or a lifetime, and while they are here I cherish each and every friendship I have. I am grateful for the presence of each and every friendship in my life. They bring me joy and inspire me to live each savour every moment.

I am grateful for my meditation practice.
I have always been a seeker, a deep thinker, a curious spirit, and finding a way to connect to my soul through my meditation and other spiritual practices, has enhanced every area of my life. Each time I sit down at my easel, I meditate for a couple of minutes and connect to my creative muse, each time I face a challenging situation, I sit in meditative silence and find the calm that is needed, each night I light some incense or a candle, connect to my spirit and write my grateful list.

My tips to practice more gratitude on a daily basis.
On a daily basis I list 5 things I have to be grateful for. My condition is that in one week I do not list the same thing twice. It can be as simple as having fresh air to breathe that day or as complex as a deep, soul, life changing event. This forces you to notice things that you would normally overlook and take for granted.

Don’t panic if you fall into bed and realise you haven’t written your grateful list. just take a few deep breaths, connect to your inner self and think of the 5 things you have to be grateful for in that moment. It isn’t the recording of the 5 things that is important, it is the fact that you take the time to recognise them in your life.

In this day and age of digital photography, particularly on your smart phones, we have been given a wonderful opportunity to notice and record little snippets of our day that bring us joy. I often takes snaps of things that I find bring a smile to my face during the day and then reflect on these when it comes to writing my grateful list that night.

I also take time to express my gratefulness to people who have impacted my life in some way, eg those who have inspired me, who have lent me a helping hand, who have made me feel good and who have supported me.

I am an artist, wife and mother living in Melbourne, Australia and I am a seeker of all things creative, beautiful and joyful. I believe that life is to be lived passionately and enthusiastically. Life is an adventure and you just have to choose to live it.

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