It's time to take your gratitude practice to the great outdoors. Your gratitude gravy mission for today is to go for a gratitude walk.
Gratitude GRAVY practice 3
During the walk, name at least 20 things you’re grateful for: comfy shoes, sunshine, rain, leaves, soil, your dog, your legs, fresh air, snow, blue sky, grey sky, the fact that the sky isn't falling, whatever greases your gratitude wheels.
If your world isn't buried in snow (mine is!), collect a rock, a leaf, a shell (you lucky beach dwelling duck!), pine cone or any other memento (or just take a photo, especially if it's sea life or something that shouldn't be removed).
We'll use these mementos to remind ourselves of something we were grateful for on the walk later in the challenge.
While you're on the walk, besides just naming a whole bunch of things you're grateful for, you could also reflect on (and be grateful for) the intelligence of nature. The connectedness of it all or how small our...
Gratitude GRAVY #2
I think we all probably are a little guilty of living a drive-by life. We have drive-by conversations with our loved ones, we speed through our day, plow through our inboxes, rush through our to-do list and then we count down until the weekend.
We tend to breeze right past a whole lot of what we could be grateful for in the present.
That's one of the beautiful benefits of gratitude. Gratitude makes us stop, recognize, acknowledge and appreciate whatever good is happening right in front of us.
As one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, so beautifully puts it, to appreciate life, you just have to be open for business.
Gorgeous, amazing things come into our lives when we are paying attention: mangoes, grandnieces, Bach, ponds … Astonishing material and revelation appear in our lives all the time. Let it be. Unto us, so much is given.
We just have to be open for business.
-Anne Lamott, Help, Thanks, Wow
Our lives might be swirling,...
Want to listen to the Gratitude Gravy challenge? Use the player above or subscribe to The Life Feast podcast right here.
#GratitudeGRAVY day 1
Consider the expression, "thank you". We've said it a million times. It's a habitual response. We say thank you for everything. Thanks, thank you, TY, Thx, sometimes we throw out a folded hands emoji and call it a day .
We speak it, we text it, we demand our kids say it, but do we mean it?
It's a knee-jerk generalized response. Conditioned by societal norms and Miss Manners. But as it's tossed around for everything, we become desensitized to the true power of experiencing and expressing gratitude.
Let's be real, should the same word be used to convey the same level of sincerity when someone politely holds the door open for us at a coffee shop as when someone holds our hand in the hospital?
Ummm probably not.
But in lieu of rewriting the English language and inventing a new vocabulary, let's decide that when someone does us a solid, we'll add...
Have you ever looked under the "hood" of motherhood and wondered who am I, anymore? I haven't seen "me" in a while, though I think my soul might be buried under a pile of laundry or a science project somewhere.
Parenthood is an interesting paradox, isn't it?
It's beautiful, fulfilling, loving, stressful, exhausting, humorous, frustrating, terrifying and joyful all at the same time ... sometimes all in the same hour!
And, as busy mothers, taking care of our share (and then some), we can lose ourselves along the way.
Remember those invisible mothers from Victorian photos I shared with you two weeks ago? It's an irony both metaphorical and literal.
This week, in The Life Feast, I have an incredible special guest, one I've waited months to share with you who will be talking with us about how she found herself through photography.
Mandy Seligman is a mom of five, a homeschooler, a wife, a grandmother, a sister, a daughter, and she is also she is also a...
Are you ready to meet and have your life changed by one of the most extraordinary creatives out there? She's a poet, a self-help author, a photographer, leadership coach and (of course) a cowgirl! And she's one of my favorite humans on the planet. Let me introduce you to: Beth Anstandig.
Beth calls herself "a noticer of things".
She notices the way an orange peel can become poetry.
She notices the subtle shifts in the space between horses.
She notices the art of barbed wire, the beauty in a shadow and the healing power of a hug with a four-legged friend.
And she notices how humans have become so adept at swapping stress for self-care, busy-ness for being, and productivity over prioritizing basic needs, that we don't even notice how much it's affecting our relationships and our wellbeing.
In her Natural Leadership work, Beth has guided heavy hitters from Google, Facebook, Adobe and many other leaders of today in how to slow down and use the wisdom of horses (and the...
1) Open a full color photo in Snapseed
2) Select TOOLS
3) Go to TUNE IMAGE
4) Select the slider at the bottom of the image to bring up the brightness/Saturation/Contrast menu. Select SATURATION, then either move the slider all the way to the left or you can long press on the photo and move your finger to the left.
5) After you have made your photo black and white (by reducing SATURATION to -100) then select the check mark at the bottom right of the photo.
6) Now select this little icon that looks like a stack of books with an arrow on top.
7) Select VIEW EDITS
8) Select TUNE IMAGE
9) Select the BRUSH tool
10) Select the INVERSION tool (looks like a black and white circle)
11) When your photo goes back to black and white, start to move your finger over the areas where you want the color pop to shine through. If you make a mistake, you can select the tune image arrows at the bottom to erase your mistake and paint black and white back over the area. You'll need to...
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Did you know there’s a word in Japanese for the silence of snow?
It’s shinshin and alludes to the absence of sound that was once there before.
Cover by Eron Haubert Additional photos by Dianne Bertini, Heather Reardon, Kimberly Lebron, Davida Kales, Mattie May, Shea Cochran, Ruth Nielsen
In our jacked up, noise-polluted, busy as all get-out world, have you ever contemplated the sound of silence? It's a rare thing, these days?
Even in my quiet house out in the country with very few neighbors, there is still the hum of multiple appliances buzzing in the background. But when the power goes out I notice that startling absence of white noise. And it's lovely.
Snow is nature’s best sound absorber.
The space between flakes once they’ve settled on the ground perfectly muffle the decibels of daily life.
In The Life Feast, we pay...
What did you used to love to do?
Did you draw?
Did you dance?
Did you paint?
Did you sing?
I used to dance as a groovy chicken circa 1979/80, but I gave up art at age 22.
I was a working girl.
A newly minted adult.
I was a Professional, a few years later I got married and became a Partner, not long after that I became a Parent. I gave up creativity and all outside interests because doesn't adulting mean we are required to give it all up when we hit those 3 P milestones?
Maybe we add in a 4th P and call that fulfillment …. Peloton. Or a 5th, Planner, as in planning everything for everyone in our lives, planning the summer camp, the school activities, the dinners, the bake sales. Or a 6th P: Philanthropy. Worthy only if we are giving everything we’ve got. This is what is normalized in this culture. Give until your cup is bone dry … and unless it’s exercise, feel guilty for having fun unless you are taking care of the other p’s that society approves...
Meraki might sound like the macarena … thankfully, that is not what we’re talking about. If you’re thinking potato/potahto, meraki/macarena, it’s all Greek to me, then you’re half way there.
My understanding is that it’s similar to passion, devotion or just doing something with enthusiasm and presence while letting the essence of YOU shine through … it’s leaving something of yourself behind. A lit up legacy, if you will.
This is not cookie cutter or paint by numbers. Your essence isn’t replicable in a factory, your meraki isn’t either.
Phoning it in is that checked-out, glazed over, monotonous: "anyone, anyone, Bueller, Bueller" kind of enthusiasm that you might currently be bringing to areas...
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