"For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes." - Dag Hammarskjold

Monday, December 30, 2013

preparing for a new focus...

Early in 2013, as *the gratitude project: dare to be grateful* began to take shape, I drafted the following description:

The gratitude project: dare to be grateful is a social engagement experiment triggered by my personal desire to celebrate the many blessings in my life in concert with others.  It was sparked by the simple question: “Wouldn’t it be cool to find out what others are grateful for?!” 

Project Goals
  • 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.
So, here I am - at the closing of 2013 - looking back at what has been accomplished.  Have my goals been met?  Why turn the page now? What is next?

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. 

Beyond all our differences, there is gratitude.

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.

gratefully yours,


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, Jo-Anne, for having the courage to create this project and bring it to us! I was honoured to be involved, even if it was only in a small way. And I am grateful for the reminder to be grateful. I am excited for you, and "the year of the marathon"!!!! I am with you all the way - well, except for the running part!!! :D