Remember Yoda’s words to Anakin Skywalker when they met for the first time?  “Fear is the path to the Dark Side.  Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering.”

Dark Side

(I know what you’re thinking.  Not more Star Wars references?!!  *face palm*  Trust me, it’s easier if you don’t fight it.)

The Dark Side is a great force (especially when they have cookies) but never underestimate the power of Gratitude.  Gratitude leads to happiness.  Happiness leads to kindness.  Kindness leads to a better world for everyone.  Or something like that.  The fact is that when you start to practice gratitude daily, you can’t help but feel happier and when you feel happier, you also feel more compassion and kindness towards yourself and others.

Last week I randomly came across the 365 Grateful Project website and loved the idea of documenting a year of daily gratitude in photographs.  I remember reading somewhere (or did I see it on Oprah? hhmm…) that if you count your blessings each morning when you get up, you will start your day feeling more happy than if you don’t.  It works, too, if you’re awake enough to remember to do it.

I love the idea of the 365 photo project because it encourages you to live more in the moment and to really look for and celebrate the beauty in all the special little things each day.  And since what you focus on tends to expand, it makes sense that focusing on all the good in your life is bound to bring more good and joy into it.

It got me to thinking about blogging, and, well, where better to introduce some of that gratitude magic than right here?  Since sharing is caring, I figure some of the things I am grateful for may inspire thoughts or ideas or conversations out there, or at the very least, maybe just some pretty pictures and giggles.

So here goes.  Just a few things I am grateful for today:
– This video I watched on Olive on Blonde’s blog today about the power of positivity and optimism.  108 years old and still rockin’ it.  Inspirational.

– Random sunshine and warmth so close to winter.  If it wasn’t a work day I would have been in the park with a gourmet picnic and a good book.  As it was, I was still grateful for the sunshine streaming in through the office windows, inspiring daydreams of picnics in the park.  It also led to a beautiful twilight pink sky (too subtle to be photographed by a camera phone), that led me to my next gratitude moment…

– Meeting fabulous and passionate people like Em from Olive on Blonde and Ash and Tahnee from Dori.Collective!  My head is still buzzing from all the thoughts and ideas that we chatted about at our first meeting tonight.  Stay tuned for more details over the coming months!

– Last but not least, these fluffy socks from my gorgeous Mum, because warm Autumn days lead to cold Autumn nights and I like my toes toasty.  That’s my feet in them right now, as I’m typing this.  Cute, huh?  You know you want some. 🙂

Header photo credit: bichxa via photopin cc

13 Comments on The 365 Grateful Project

  1. veghotpot
    May 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm (12 years ago)

    I was thinking “Yay more Starwars references” hehe. What a lovely idea and oh man those socks looks soo nice!!!

    • vegansparkles
      May 22, 2012 at 10:20 am (12 years ago)

      hehe, YAY! You have great taste, Becky. In all galaxies. 😉

  2. An Unrefined Vegan
    May 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm (12 years ago)

    Great way to start each day! Thank you!

    • vegansparkles
      May 22, 2012 at 10:20 am (12 years ago)

      hehe, my pleasure! 🙂

  3. Gabby @ the veggie nook
    May 22, 2012 at 2:07 am (12 years ago)

    Love your socks! Fuzzy socks are crucial for cold weather 🙂

    • vegansparkles
      May 22, 2012 at 10:21 am (12 years ago)

      hehe, they soooo are! I have a few different crazy styles on high rotation. 😉

  4. meetyourtreat
    May 22, 2012 at 2:42 am (12 years ago)

    This is a great post! One of my favorite sayings is courteousness is contagious and this is just what you are saying. We all have an impact one way or another on the people we come in contact with so why not spread good vibes! I love this idea…see what you did…now I’m thinking about all the great things in my life instead of that batch of pancakes that I totally ruined this morning, ah that’s better.

    • vegansparkles
      May 22, 2012 at 10:22 am (12 years ago)

      haha, perfect! The plan is working! 🙂 Wishing you better pancakes today, and lots of warm fuzzies.

  5. LindsayODonnell
    May 22, 2012 at 6:58 am (12 years ago)

    What a beautiful idea!

    • vegansparkles
      May 22, 2012 at 10:28 am (12 years ago)

      Isn’t it just! 🙂 I think the photo project aspect really makes you want to actively search out the beautiful things and is much more tangible than simply counting your blessings, although that is powerful as well. I also love the idea of being able to look back at your photos and feeling all warm and fuzzy all over again.

      • LindsayODonnell
        May 23, 2012 at 8:48 am (12 years ago)

        Apparently people who take the time to write in a ‘appreciation’ journal or record things they are thankful for are generally happier people!

  6. luminousvegans
    May 22, 2012 at 8:41 am (12 years ago)

    What a wonderful idea! I could definitely use this project myself. Thanks for sharing and cute socks 🙂

    • vegansparkles
      May 22, 2012 at 10:29 am (12 years ago)

      hehe, my pleasure, and my socks say thank you! 🙂