Friday, 26 November 2010

Giving Thanks - Gratitude is the New Black

The internet is awash with tidings of Thanksgiving right now. On the other side of the pond, we Brits don't quite get it... we kind of see it as the event that our American friends confuse with Christmas - well it involves turkey, presents & gathering the family together doesn't it?
Having made some big changes in my life this past year, and actually begun appreciating the value of gratitude, I finally GET the real meaning of Thanksgiving and am quite blown away that an entire country holds a National holiday in the honour of gratitude. That's a powerful thing!

 I have been keeping a gratitude journal since March; each night before I turn out the light I list five things that happened during my day for which I am thankful for. Some days it's hard to stick to just five, others it's near impossible to even think of five - either way, it has trained my brain to look out for the good things that happen to me each day. It has become something I look forward to doing each night and you know what?... falling asleep with the thoughts of those five good things has given me such restful sleep. How nice to drift off into the land of nod with positive thoughts rather than feeling stressed about something that might not have gone well or some niggling anxiety about an upcoming situation over which I have no control.

Now don't get me wrong - I know that a gratitude journal is not going to solve all your problems in life, but I do believe it will inject a juicy dose of positivity and make you feel a whole lot nicer about yourself. We can be pretty tough on ourselves most of the time; our own worst critic. Why not take time to acknowledge those little moments of happiness each day, those goals you reached & those challenges you overcame? - no matter how small they may be.

"The great thing about gratitude is that there is no thing too small and no thing too big to receive it!"

You should give it a go... grab a pretty notebook & your favourite pen. Place them by your bedside - if you don't put them right there, you're pretty much guaranteed to forget to do it! (speaking from experience here!) - and tonight, just before you turn out the light, jot down those five experiences from the day that you can feel grateful for. They really can be anything; don't be shy! When I began this, I was very unsure of what to write... after all I'm a Brit; we're used to complaining & apologising rather than showing appreciation & gratitude! Within 2 weeks I had totally found my gratitude mojo & was appreciating so much more in my day to day life... hey, whilst we're on the subject; I am grateful to Christine Kane for showing me the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal. Thanks lady!

So whatever you find yourself doing this Thanksgiving weekend - remember to be thankful!

 Gratitude rocks!

Let me know how you get on

Lisa x

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

*Stylist* - in December's Livingetc

 As a stylist I am no stranger to seeing my work published or my name in print but rarely do I feature on the 'other' side of the camera; I'm usually behind it & behind the scenes. So it's a little strange to flick through the current issue of Livingetc and see a photo of me smiling shyly back atcha from the featured contributors section! (page 12 in case you're passing a newsstand!)

Now, I'm not one for tooting my own trumpet but I must say I'm quite pleased... and honoured to be featured. I had to answer a series of Christmas related questions which I sent in along with the copy I wrote for the article on a gorgeous home here in Chamonix, France. You can see more of the images of this home on the Livingetc website

With this being a Christmas issue story I had the fun task of sourcing and decorating a 5m tall tree!... in February! It was quite a feat to get it into the house and took the best part of a day to decorate. Florence and her family were amazingly accommodating and the kids were super excited to have all the decorations up again (merci mille fois Flo!). Simon was a star and wrote out a lovely letter to Pere Noel about wanting a Labrador puppy and little Charlie was adorable reaching up for the bright pink pompom that I suspended from the Moose painting in the lounge

I'll be posting a tutorial in the coming weeks on how to make the printed ribbons to decorate your Christmas tree as well as the mistletoe ball from the bedroom shot (my favourite!), so watch out for those. In the meantime though, one of the questions I was asked was, "This year my tree will be... (in 5 words or less)"  You'll see in the copy above that my answer was...
"Baubles suspended from the ceiling"
I'm lucky enough to have a beautiful vaulted ceiling in my lounge and I plan to suspend antiqued silver baubles of differing sizes from the light fitting with bright ribbons - and maybe the odd tiny disco ball too!

What plans do you have for your Christmas tree this year?

Lisa x

{photography by Jeremy Wilson}

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