A few years ago I spent some time working with a wonderful woman called Jane Grey. One of the most important things she taught me was to remember to be grateful. Ever since I have tried to practice gratitude in my life. But what does it mean to practice gratitude. Well for me it has taken many different forms. Sometimes I keep a journal full of lists of the things I'm grateful for, I draw, make spider grams, use different coloured pens. At mealtimes I introduced our own kind of grace before we eat. Usually this means holding hands and saying things like
"Thank you for the piggies, thank you to the baker, thank you mummy, I'm so grateful for water!"
Yes, it's often very funny. We have also made gratitude jars and shared what we are grateful for about the birthday person on their special day. It has often just meant trying to think of three things I feel grateful for about my day in that moment before I go to sleep just as I feel consciousness slipping away - it's a wonderful day to go to sleep with a smile. This blog has also been underpinned by a desire to somehow hold on to the things I am grateful for - to notice them and name them because when I open my eyes I see that despite the many difficulties life throws at us, I am incredibly blessed.
Now this language, saying grace and being blessed may sound religious but for me it is not. Perhaps it is spiritual if taken in the sense of nourishing your spirit, that part of yourself that is uniquely you. I see it as also as a special kind of mindfulness - an awareness of what's around me and the joy it brings me. And of course, being aware of all these things often feeds into my creative life too.
In my bid to be more organised here and to encourage my mindfulness and gratitude practice, Five Little Things will be making a regular appearance here. Sometimes just as photos and sometimes with words. I hope you'll like it. And without further ado here's my first Five Little Things...