Tuesday, March 25, 2014

365 Days: Using a Photo a Day Challenge to Practice Appreciation

Each day dawns with endless possibility. And, for many of us an equally endless to do list. We know we'll never accomplish all the items, but that doesn't stop us from trying or racing through our day with our heads down, oblivious of what's going on around us. Pausing for just a few seconds and actively seeking out one good thing can change a day from drudgery to joy.

My Ordinary 365: A Clean Quiet Place

"We want to develop the habit of searching for, and discovering, something to appreciate about every person, situation, or experience we encounter."
-Jonathan Wells, "Allowing Appreciation to Change Your Life," Advanced Life Skills

For 2014, I decided to challenge myself to capturing one photo of the seemingly ordinary that makes my life extraordinary (link opens an Instagram gallery). At the end of each month, I pause and I go through the moments and reflect on what was important to me. In January, most of my moments were of family and food. This trend continued in February and in March as well, but I also noticed a different trend.

My Ordinary 365: March 2014 Highlights

My perspective on what was a negative and what was a positive was changing.

"Even on the worst days, there are bound to be some things that went right. ... Be thankful for the little things like a great cup of coffee, a surprise call, or a nice gesture from a stranger. As you practice this, you’ll notice these increasing through the law of attraction."
-Anonymous, "Cultivating Positivity," Attraction Mindset

My Ordinary 365: February 2014 Highlights

Parents whose children have grown and left the house often advise newer parents to savor the mess, that we're going to miss those toys lying about when they're gone. I must have internalized this because many of my February moments were of toys forgotten or tucked into odd places. What some might see as a mess, I was seeing as signs of life and remembering squeals of laughter or the joy of discovery.

The moment pictured at the top of this post was captured this past weekend. As anyone who is a parent will know, weekends and holidays don't mean time off, parenting is a 24/7 job. My moment, a fleeting one, was captured right after I'd finished cleaning the kitchen and setting up the tea kettle for the next morning's coffee and while the house was quiet, a rare event with a toddler.

How do you practice appreciation?
Is being "in the moment" a challenge?

Capture Your Ordinary for April

Join me in April. For 30 days, from April 1st through April 30th, capture the ordinary in your life that makes your life extraordinary. Tag them #elevatetheordinary and share on Instagram. If you need a little help taking another look at the little things that you might take for granted, use 30 daily prompts I've put together.

Elevate the Ordinary Instagram Challenge

I can't wait to see what you share.

genuinely eden

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Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.