The ruminations of an artist on art & life...art quilts, beading, knitting, drawing, painting, printmaking, bookmaking are all my passions, I love to explore creating....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Simple Things : Happiness and Gratitude



Today a friend on Facebook pointed me toward a website about HAPPINESS--- Happier.com, and the website posed a question for me that I have been considering : what makes a good day for me? can I even answer this question? I can tell you what an ideal good day is...but how often do I pay atention to my good days? (how often do you?)

I know that when I have a bad day--or a horrible day--I pay attention to that---I may even tell someone : "I had a very bad day today"--but how often do I call a friend and say, "I had a very good day today?"

How come we tend to pay more attention to the negative in our lives and just take the positive for granted? I have been trying to perpetuate a new habit in my life : acknowledging all the good that comes my way every day. I no longer want to dwell on the negative aspects of my life---and to do this I am deliberately cultivating the habit of daily gratitude. So, I try to spend some time every day to make a written list of everything I am grateful for in my life. If I miss a day--I do not chastise myself, I just remind myself to do this every day. I believe that cultivating daily gratitude will make me eventually happier, healthier, more joyful and relaxed.

Part of all this, is also learning to enjoy and savor the day-to-day events and simple things in my life, and be grateful for them, aslo...and to this end, I also try to create a drawing (again everyday!) of some "simple thing" in my life that I am grateful for....hence the black and white drawing here.

Today's Quote: " There are two ways to live your life. One is as nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --Albert Einstein

5 comments:

Leah said...

It's so true, it's so much easier to take note of the bad days than the good. I think that's why a gratitude practice is helpful. It helps me remember all the good in each day.

Thanks again for the info about Remedios Varo! I'm going to buy a book and learn more about her.

Deanna said...

Kudos to you for realizing the impact of gratitude and working towards it! I am in the "business" of gratitude and it takes constant practice as "life happens" everyday. We are de-railed with things and events on a daily basis--it's all in our mindset in how we choose to react and view a situation. Thank you!

Andrew J. Rosenthal said...

I'm glad you had a chance to check out http://www.happier.com -- we're always intersted in hearing what you think. You can join our group on facebook (search for "happier.com") and follow us on twitter (@happier).

Have a great weekend!

-Andrew

freebird said...

I just read a book called The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog and the author, a psychiatrist who studies the brain, said we are wired to look at the negative for survival reasons. If something may harm us or be bad for us we need to take notice. That made a lot of sense to me although we sure don't need to pay as much attention as we do in these modern times. I bet ancient peoples also noticed the good days more than we do but at least I now know why the negative things loom so large.

Lee said...

Expression of gratitude is a great way to start the day. It can have wonderful effects on how the day goes, setting an attitude and a point of view. When you recollect your day you will find it went much better.