In 2012 when I tentatively started this blog, I dedicated a year of my life to posting a photograph of something I was grateful for. I called it my 365 gratitude experiment. I must say now, it was far more challenging than I realized. It turned out to be a very intense year full of loss and sorrow. As it turned out, this blog in many ways saved my life and I am thoroughly grateful for the insight and peace it has given me.

After that year was done I was at a loss of how to continue the challenge. My good friend suggested I dedicate a year to posting something artistic every day for a year. This proved even more challenging for it was very difficult to verbalize that I am indeed an artist. I had to be completely vulnerable and show something, even if I didn’t really like what I was posting. In fact sometimes I down right hated what I was posting. This challenge was groundbreaking as well. It pushed my boundaries and forced me to create.

Now in my third year of this blog, I post my art work as much as I can. I feel I am finally moving toward creating the life I want, slowly breaking through old negative tapes that have been running and pushing myself to accept the positive and embrace it. Thanks to all who have been supporting me along the way. The many comments have been soaked into my heart. It is immeasurable how kind words can travel. I send my blessings to you all and remind you that we each have a wellspryng of love, hope and creativity inside us.

below is what I wrote in 2012

I am an artist, single mother, athlete, lover, friend, meditator, jester, peacemaker, designer, singer, yogi, writer, spiritual disciple and an open hearted woman who is finally starting to have the courage to admit to myself that I actually possess all of these characteristics and many more. I am on a quest to find contentment. Recently my luck has taken a turn for the worse, and through this turmoil I have made some important observations. Over the past few years I have been working on finding a happy life; reading books, taking classes, discussing with friends. It was all going well; upholding a positive outlook seemed to make everything else, well… more positive. As my monetary situation grew worse, so did my ability to see the good things in life. The more stressful it was to pay the bills, the less likely I was to be in a good mood. I completely understand gratitude plays a key role in happiness, but it is difficult to focus on the positive when you are having trouble buying groceries to feed your children. I happen to live in an affluent town in New England. I see the people around me and wonder if they truly appreciate all that they have. My recent circumstances made me quite aware of people less fortunate than I. How are they surviving? How do they stay happy? What can I do to help? It was heartbreaking when I recently overheard a woman complaining during the recent Hurricane Sandy that she had to leave her house in the Hamptons to come stay in her house in the Berkshires because her power was out. Did she actually have trouble realizing that other people lost their belongings, their homes, their lives? On another day a man came to my door asking for donations for the Human Rights Campaign. As I was giving a meager donation I commented that he must be raising quite a bit of money in my neighborhood, and he said that actually he was not doing very well. These examples and many others take me quite off guard. They stun me and make me think about what I can do in some small way to better the world. All this inspired me to try an experiment. How can I bring happiness to others (and myself) on a budget? How can I minimize everyday stress of life and be happy? Being an artist I am always struck by things visual. I initially decided to keep a visual gratitude journal and share it by posting daily pictures on Facebook. Then my vision expanded and a blog is born. I know this will be a challenge for me but I am determined to give it a try.

Β Β  ” Never lose holy curiosity. Stop every day to understand and appreciate a little of the mystery that surrounds you,
and your life will be filled with awe and discovery to the very end.”

Albert Einstein