A YEAR LONG CHALLENGE: I originally asked seven people who struggle with a common mental health issue such as depression or anxiety, or a sense of ‘lack’ to be in gratitude for the year ahead. Each of them represented a day of the week and began to post me a photo of something they are grateful for this day for a whole year. We started last month. Since my first request for volunteers three more people joined up and we doubled up on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Read original blog
1. The challenge has been going for five months, looking back at your photos, can you see a clearer pattern what you are most grateful for in life? Which photo best sums it up?
Nature and what she gives us (Friday ‘Yin’)
My photos seem to be a collection of outdoor shots, nature and animals! I always feel calmer outside and it is my go to place for mindfulness. My children are also a big part of my grateful for- they do bring me so much joy and have a great way of grounding me (Monday)
I am trying very hard to do so. My beautiful loving family keep me going. Something with the sky in it (Tuesday)
Definite theme of nature/Animals. Any of my photos really sum that up (Sunday Southern Hemisphere)
I think that the best photograph so far is the one of my brother in law and sister in law’s 50th wedding anniversary party. It says it all really, families are so important and I am so grateful for my own close family (Sunday Northern Hemisphere).
My images are all close to home in some way. I realise home, in both the immediate sense and the surrounding area, is precious to me. I think because my childhood was so chaotic and we moved so often then later on in the military of course there was never a home for long, now having that stable sanctuary is an immense comfort (Saturday North).
This photo the bird flying in front of the sunset represented freedom from my dictated life, The outdoors and nature are what connects me to my true self. No agenda, no judgement just what is.
2. If you could visualise a future photo that you could step into: What would it look like? Where would you be? Who would you be with? What would be going on around you? How would you be feeling?
A woodland clearing sun light filtering through the trees by myself total peace, feeling calm and relaxed (Friday ‘Yin’)
A beach, a calm space, warm but not hot. I would be with my boys and my husband. I miss them when they are not around. I would feel content and happy, not worrying about anything else. Just enjoying being in the moment (Monday).
Space with nothing in it but happy family and cat. Just sitting and being – feeling at ease and not full of panic (Tuesday).
It would look like my own house, with my partner, with our animals around us. I would be feeling happy and content (Sunday Southern Hemisphere).
The future photo that I would like to see, is of me sat in the awning of a caravan at a campsite on the shore of Coniston Water in the Lake District. I would be with my wife and my dogs, and just relaxing after an early morning climb up “The Old Man” with the dogs. Because we went so early, the camp site would just be coming to life; I would be feeling glad that I got to enjoy the climb and the beauty before the fell tracks resembled a motorway of hikers going up and down (Sunday Northern Hemisphere).
Actually I think it would be in the garden, with all the work done that I have planned for it, both kids at a garden table in the evening sun, fairy lights around us and I’ve found ‘the one’ and we are laughing about something ridiculous. I would be feeling wholesome, enveloped in love and brimming with light (Saturday North).
I would fly like the bird, warm in the sun, be safe up high, being one with the vast ocean and sky. Free from walls and chains (Wednesday).
3. If you could take a small step towards being in this photograph what would it be?
Making it through winter unscathed (Friday ‘Yin’)
Putting a small piece if time aside at the weekend to actually be with my children rather than letting the day to day get in the way. I find it so hard to switch off, something that I really need to get better at (Monday)
Serious psychological help is the next step (Tuesday)
This is what I don’t know. My partner doesn’t want to get a house, I feel like at the moment, all I can do is wait (Sunday Southern Hemisphere).
This weekend I made plans to look for a new caravan on Friday and then Saturday and again on Sunday, but it didn’t happen. So actually making the effort to overcome my own lethargy and make the time to try and buy a new caravan, would be a good small step. Going to try again on Monday; I’ll let you know how I get on next week 😊 (Sunday Northern Hemisphere).
I think I’ve been on the journey to that moment for the last 4 years (I’ve had a long way to travel). More recently steps have been learning to love and respect myself, not allowing my ego to create dramas for me and reconnecting with my emotions. The next steps I think will be (further) work in addressing my relationship with food and to that end, loose weight, there by increasing self esteem and confidence and giving myself the best chance at meeting whoever that guy is in the photo (Saturday North).