Practicing Gratitude Through a Lens

My thoughts don't come easily when I try to write using my computer. I'm not sure exactly why that is but to really access my musings I need a pen and paper. Its as if they are somehow joined, my thoughts and the pen, as if my brain thinks in paper and ink. Sometimes I can't even use words to describe what I am thinking or feeling until I write it out.

There is another key I have for accessing thoughts that sometimes get lost in the clutter of my mind! One I only discovered not that long ago. My camera. I have discovered that the process of capturing my children's day to day brings me so much more clarity about what's important. When I'm caught up in the groundhog dayishness of life, my thoughts about my family go out the window. They sometimes seem blurry and just out of reach, crowded out by all the "noise" (both metaphorical and literal). I can become more reactive, angry and just lose sight really.

Cue picking up camera.....

Stop, be still, notice, appreciate, slow down, reflect, be grateful, remember. Quiet the noise.

Remember to be grateful.

Remember what is important.

Remember that they are little. (Even the big ones)

See them.

Through a lens everything becomes so much clearer to me. 

Do you ever look back through old pictures of your family/kids and see them differently? You don't see the faults, the fights, arguments etc. You just see "them". It can even change your mood. You feel happier.....Like when you have had one of "those" days.  But then you see your sleeping child and everything else melts away and all you see is them.

That's the power of a photograph. That's why I pick up my camera everyday, even when I really, really, really can't be bothered. I do it because it is my way to practice gratitude, to be reminded of what's really important, to realise I already have everything I need right here and to be thankful.

The following images may not speak quite to you as they do to me because, well, they are my family. I feel so much more when I look at these images because each one speaks to me and holds a memory that is mine that I can almost tangibly feel. Moments I don't want to forget, stages that they go through that won't always be there (dinosaurs, so. many. dinosaurs), little bits and clues to their personalities, the way she smiles to the side, tiny hands, how they care for each other, expressions they pull, I can freeze it all and notice. 

I know we don't celebrate thanksgiving here in Australia but I think its a good thing to do every so often. Reflect and be thankful that is. Documenting my family probably makes it a daily occurrence and for that I am so grateful.