I am grateful for Colorful Schedules. They make things much more easy and clear for me. I really enjoy the process of creating them and it makes me smile every time I look at it. It gives me an immediate overview of what is going on and what I still need to work on, focus on, fix. I like using sticky notes because I know that if I have to make a change I can just replace a sticky note instead of having to tear my entire schedule apart and start all over again. This picture is an example of part of Cast Week in Up with People. I love how the colors make things instantly comprehensible. In this case the yellow represents all the logistics I needed to think about, the green referred to anything relating to the Education department and the pink ones were exceptions or things I needed to pay extra attention to. And in general the colors just make it all the more frivolous and fun. There are so many ways to make work more fun. I suggest you give it a try!
I am grateful for The Daily Love. It is an incredible project, which was created by Mastin Kipp. There is so much I could say about it, but I suggest you go check it out yourself at thedailylove.com. All you have to do once you get to the page, is signing up to receive a daily dose of love. This dose of love will come to you in the form of a daily newsletter with quotes, visual art and affirmations. It is a great way to start your day and it assures you will start it with a smile and a feeling of love. Two of today’s affirmations for instance, were “Life loves me.” and “I am 100 % Self Approved.”. The Daily Love does make sure that you get your daily portion of love and it is a great spark to start a day filled with love. There is never too much love. And thanks to The Daily Love you get a daily reminder to start loving life more and to start living more lovingly. Thank you for the joy you bring to so many people, Mastin. May your life be filled with love.
I am grateful for This Particular Bouquet. It’s not just any bouquet, it’s one that represents something. So often there is an object that’s not just an object and I am grateful for that. The one candle that burnt up long time ago, but still you leave it standing there. That little statue that doesn’t really fit into the interior of your home, still that’s where you want it to be. Those items you just can’t throw away. They aren’t just an object, they are so much more. You look at them and there is a story in your head. Right there. Immediately. A story. I am grateful for This Particular Bouquet. I gave it to my grandma on her 74th birthday, which happened last March 20th. A seventy-fourth birthday is not a special year, neither is March 20th a special day and this bouquet you might say is rather ordinary. It could have been her 75th birthday on March 21st, right when Spring starts and I could have given her a bouquet of 75 white roses. Whatever. But it wasn’t and I didn’t. It was just This Particular Bouquet. I was on my way to her place for the nice dinner we were gonna have with the family and I decided that I wanted to buy her flowers. When I stopped by the flower shop there were obviously tons of options. For some reason I liked these flowers, which I picked out myself. I felt like they had a story, as if they would fit into a beautiful movie. How they looked as if they were just fresh, but at the same time had lived for years and years. As if someone had designed them for a play, to evoke the exact setting, the perfect feeling you want the spectator to have. And even thought I was doubting a little on the way there if I shouldn’t have bought the bright vivid red roses, I knew from the moment I walked into my grandma’s living room that I had picked out the ideal bouquet. This Particular Bouquet was made for her and for her home. The table cloth, the painting, the bottle of wine and the plates ready to be put away… it all looks as if it was set. But it wasn’t. It was just this moment. Just This Particular Bouquet that made this ordinary moment an extraordinary one. And the best part is not in the picture, but only in my mind. The story, the image, the moment I cherish. My grandmother’s smile.
I am grateful for Grateful Pieter. Yes, this actual project, this blog, is what I am grateful for on this special day. Day 100. A hundred days of gratefulness. This project has showed me so much, taught me so much, made me feel so much. I’m only on day 100 and I already feel the difference. I am so much more grateful for life. I am so much more amazed by it. There are so many tiny wonderful things to be grateful for, things I often took for granted. I still have 265 days left and I am excited to see where this project will take me next. If I just scroll down and look back at all the posts I’ve written so far… It is so amazing to see what all came to me. I actually enjoy rereading my blog. It makes me happy over and over again. I honestly have to smile when I see all those pictures and read my abundant excitement put into words. It’s the best thing. I am so grateful for this. It almost sounds funny, but I am grateful for Grateful Pieter. So much. Let’s see what comes next…
I am grateful for Difficult. It is Difficult that shows me what I’m worth. It’s Difficult that makes me fight. Difficult makes me work harder. Difficult shows me my determination. Difficult proves me time and again that I am not someone who gives up. Difficult shows me my limits and makes me get past them. Difficult makes me feel good. Difficult doesn’t mean that something is impossible, it means that I encounter something that doesn’t happen just like that, but that I have to make it happen. I know that there’s a way out. I just have to find it. And yes, it might take time, effort, tears,… but I will get there. No matter how difficult. I will. In fact, I don’t think I would like it to be easy. There’s no fun there, no challenge. If I know it can be done easily, I often have a harder time finding the motivation to actually get it done. But getting something thrown at you that you know you will have to do your all to get it done, to know that you have to give it your all and use everything you have to get there, now that’s what makes it worth. Difficult does something to you as a person or also a group of people. It brings people together. Put people in a difficult situation together and they will – possibly after much frustration, discussion or tears – bond over it. They will join forces and see their value as a human being to get the job done. That’s team building right there. And in the case of doing things by yourself, I think I would like to call it character building. Through Difficult you get to know who you are, what you’re worth, what your values are and how far you would go. Because how far is far? And how difficult is Difficult? I guess that’s a difficult question to answer…
“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein –
I am grateful for the color Green. It is my second favorite color or my first one in the case that people don’t accept my favorite color – which is black – as an actual color. I love all shades of green and I love how it can be so natural or so artificial. Green is all around us in nature: trees, grass, plants, vegetables, fruit,… and I love nature in all its forms. The flora and fauna. And green just happens to be ubiquitous in nature. Oh how I love green. It is relaxing, elegant, soothing or sometimes unbearably bright when used in a chemically industrialized way. There is so much you can see in it. I chose this painting by Joseph Marioni as an example. His painting is simply called ‘Green Painting’. And even though you might say it is simply a green painting in front of you, there are so many layers to discover, there is so much to see. You could just have a green sheet of paper, a print out without any depth. But this painting. It’s actually painted, which reveals all the layers of paint and all the work that has been put into it. I’m sure some people don’t see much in paintings like this and might find it too modernistic to their liking, but I think it is art in it’s purest form. Now, let me end with this quote by my idol Oscar Wilde:
To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim.
I am grateful for Inspiring People To Start Their Own Grateful Blog. Since I started this blog I’ve found such bliss in my life and I notice how I’m starting to look at things differently. Not only has this been beneficial to me, I have been getting messages and e-mails from friends, family members and even people who just happen to end up on my blog, telling me how much they appreciate what I do and how they start thinking about what they are grateful for in life. It makes me so happy to write this blog, but receiving these messages doubles the joy. Moreover, it has been brought to my attention that some of you have started their own Grateful Blog. I am so grateful to know that I got to Inspire People To Start Their Own Grateful Blog, because I hope it will bring them the same insight and happiness it brought me. Two examples I want to share with you, are the blogs of my friend Celiana and my host brother Aldo. I am so happy with their determination and I feel honored that they decided to write about me. Thank you so much, friends. Thank you for taking up the challenge. Thank you to everyone else for the messages and the e-mails, I really appreciate it. You give me another reason to be grateful for this project. From the bottom of my heart: Thank you.