Wednesday, March 5, 2014
A great place to start is with this post, with an alphabetical list of links to every one of the stories posted as part of the "celebrating lives greatly full" series. In addition to these, the blog will offer you photos, quotes, student essays and personal reflections from yours truly.
Thanks for stopping by...
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
You were so giving of your time,
At the risk of forgetting someone, I want to express my deep gratitude...
- to Sean & Stephanie - my creative advisors, for that first conversation at Bridgehead Coffeehouse and for your ongoing support
- to Giacomo - for sharing your experience in gathering stories and for suggesting "the gratitude project" as a possible name for my experiment
- to GGT Mike - for sharing your experience in engaging others in a cause and for your unfailing support of the project (and of me personally!)
- to Cheryl - for your graphic design help, allowing me to go from a concept in my head to a logo on a t-shirt, business cards and postcards!
- to Suzy - for introducing me to the mysterious world of Twitter and helping me set up a presence in the Twitter-sphere
- to Stuart and Chrisann - for being there, and for helping me reach out to others in our community engagement events
- to those of you who, early on, bought our limited edition t-shirts - for supporting the project and for continuing to ignite gratitude with the simple question: what are you grateful for?
- to Paulette - for allowing me to have a space at Hintonburg ArtsPark (our first community event)
- to Alisa - for inviting me into your school and sharing your students' essays with us
- to Kathleen - for giving *the gratitude project* visibility in our community via your article in the Kitchissippi Times
- to Stephanie (OAG) - for letting me come to your gratitude party
- to the travellers - for sharing your stories of gratitude as we sped across this beautiful country by train on VIA Rail's The Canadian
- to my 39 grateful guest bloggers - for your honesty and willingness to share your gratitude
- to the unknowns who sent in a postcard - for your leap of faith and willingness to be a part of something bigger than you
- to the hundreds who followed along/contributed on Facebook and/or Twitter - you will never know the thrill I felt when I started seeing names of people I didn't know joining on board!
- to Jason Mraz, Patience Salgado and Brene Brown - for the original inspiration
- to Brian - for loving & accepting me as I am and supporting my seemingly outrageous ideas. Always.
Here's wishing you all continued blessings, joy and daring on your gratitude journey...
p.s. ... and that's a wrap, m'friends! :-)
Monday, December 30, 2013
- To express and share my personal gratitude with others
- To reach out and engage others - friends and strangers - in a conversation around gratitude
- To inspire others to put their gratitude into action
- To step out of my comfort zone and learn
- The gratitude project is a multi-faceted initiative that lives and evolves on several levels: blog, community events, travels & story collecting, postcards project, charitable fundraising…
- The timeframe is March - December 2013, however neither a forced ending nor extension will be imposed.
- Part of the learning will be around the use of social media, including a blog, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
I have known for a couple of months now that *the gratitude project* would be ending at the close of 2013. It just feels right. To continue would feel forced and would lack the authentic drive and energy that has nourished the project thus far. As I review the goals established at the onset, I can say - without a doubt - that they have been achieved. And for the most part, wholly surpassed! I could never have imagined the response to this experiment from both friends and strangers alike. I experienced moments of pure connection with people... connection on a level where we can all agree that Life is a blessing and that we have much to be grateful for.
I have learned that I can step waaaay outside my comfort zone... and live to tell the tale!
I have learned that I can ask for help... and that my courage grows in the asking.
I have learned that "what are you grateful for?" is the best conversation starter ever. :-)
I have learned that gratitude is a lens that is always within my grasp.
I have learned that there are others who are dedicating themselves to celebrating gratitude and I will continue to turn to them for inspiration in those moments when gratitude does not come easily.
The one element of *the gratitude project: dare to be grateful* that I did not develop fully was the charitable fundraising aspect. I had hoped to put my gratitude into action in a concrete way by creating fundraising events to give back to my community. It just didn't happen. Well, not yet anyway. It seems perfect that "giving back to the community" is the one component of the project that will be following me into 2014...
The time is right for a new endeavour. New goals. New learnings.
I hereby declare that 2014 will be my year of the marathon! Yes, that's right. I will be running my first full marathon (42.2K / 26.2 miles) in New York City in November 2014. And inspired by so many of the people I met this past year, I plan to use this new "project" as a platform to raise awareness and funds for charitable causes within my community.
And so, although I am turning the page on *the gratitude project*, I will continue to dare to be grateful.
I will put my gratitude into action in conjunction with my new focus:
- to successfully complete a marathon while raising awareness and funds for a local charity.
Sunday, December 29, 2013
With this "project management 101" definition in mind, and with the permissions and parametres I set for myself at the beginning of *the gratitude project: dare to be grateful*, I have decided it is time to bring the project to a close. I will be sharing my reflections on this social engagement experiment over the next few days, as I begin to wrap things up here. This is not the end of gratitude in my life - I don't think that is even possible! - but rather a turning-of-the-page towards a new creative focus. More on this in a future post...
Today, I want to honour and thank the 39 people who accepted the invitation to share their gratitude as part of the "celebrating lives greatly full" series. Time and time again, as I received their submissions, I was humbled and moved by their honesty and their daring to be grateful.
I savoured their words. I was moved to tears. I rejoiced when they told me how valuable the exercise had been for them. The ripples of gratitude spreading in so many directions! And so, in alphabetical order (by last name), here they are... the storytellers, the lifeblood of *the gratitude project: dare to be grateful*. Truly, a celebration of lives greatly full! (My heart may be exploding with love & gratitude right now. Just sayin'.)
- Anonymous (postcards)
We are beyond rich.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
(Read Julia's essay here, Minseong and Judy's essays here, O'Dane and Evan's essays here,Dylan's essay here, Selina's essay here, Lily & Noah's essays here, Hannah's essay here and Carson's essay here.)
Elly's essay below just blew me away. Knowing there are young people like her and her friend Ashley gives me great hope for the future...
Friday, December 27, 2013
(Read Julia's essay here, Minseong and Judy's essays here, O'Dane and Evan's essays here,Dylan's essay here, Selina's essay here, Lily & Noah's essays here and Hannah's essay here.)
And now, introducing Carson...
The Gratitude Project: by Carson
My grandma is very special. Born in Windsor she has moved
4 times to Elliot Lake to Niagara Falls then to Atikokan and back to Niagara
Falls. She also has a lot of allergies. There are so many I can’t list them all
but here are a few, she’s allergic to wheat, grass, dust, citric foods, some
fruits and the list goes on and on. She has worked as a school teacher and a
chemist. She is also a very strong Christian. The best part about her is, she
is a great grandma. :)
Monday, December 23, 2013
(Read Julia's essay here, Minseong and Judy's essays here, O'Dane and Evan's essays here,Dylan's essay here, Selina's essay here and Lily & Noah's essays here.)
Here's what Hannah discovered during her assignment...
The person I chose to interview was a person named Emma. Emma is 15 years old and a student at Canterbury high school. The reason why I chose to interview her is because I look up to and admire her.