Blessings Found Daily


In an Australian photographer and filmmaker, Hailey Bartholomew’s

documentary, “365 Grateful,” you will find blessings. This, of course,

is referring to there being 365 days or chances to show your gratitude.

You will start to believe in possibilities and living on the ‘sunny side of life.’

A woman inspired by Hailey, named Lori Portka, embarked on her own

project, “A Hundred Thank-You’s.”


Do you see how this ripple effect can keep on going?


Lori Portka had not been painting since she was younger.

She was in tenth grade when a personal tragedy struck.

She gave up her love of art and beauty, in ‘one fell swoop.’


By viewing Hailey’s documentary, something loosened up inside her.

This moving and visceral film helped to put her back on a better path.

She chose to put her hidden and deeply rooted sorrow to better use.

To think she had quit her passion, back in her 15th year of life, to carry

around her anger, denial, hurt, and pain is so sad, to me. Her refusal to

experience true happiness until her thirties made her original loss, deeper

than ever.


Actions speak louder than words. Such ‘trite’ words, but they can make

you decide that there is more to life than mourning.

‘You are alive,’ Lori finally felt.


She started to take delight in her favorite parts of her daily routines.

She was inspired by nature, yoga, traveling, animals and friends.

She had not pursued art as her primary focus, in going to museums or

any other attachments to it.


Those were of her past life.

Lori had obliterated all of it from her life.


What started her thinking about her own way of handling being grateful,

was to decide she would paint, create and give 100 art pieces away.

This project became her motivation to engage in life, art and spreading

happiness to those who she wished to ‘thank.’

The ones who had ‘touched her life in a beautiful way,’ received their own

unexpected joyful gift back.


Lori Portka can be found at,

Listen to these words from a changed woman,

“I feel like I am on the right path, doing what I am supposed  to do.

Art feels like home to me.”

Consider finding your bliss, spreading it around by engaging some lucky

participants in your activity or ‘craft,’ and discover how the gifts come

back to you, in unexpected ways.

Lori was a former counselor and educator, she became a fine artist.

One who had stopped painting due to that particular, personal  loss.

You may feel inspired by the film, or Lori’s thank you project, or some

other impetus, that will get you started.

Feeling again, enjoying simple things that sometimes are more meaningful

when you realize, in one moment, your ability to carry out those tasks,

could be swept away.

Loir’s art now pours forth, boldly expressing her joy. Each image is filled

with saturated pastels, paints, chalks and inks. The bursts of color and

vibrant patterns remind me of several artists. But to compare to others,

sometimes is not a necessary part of feeling the emotions rendered by

the artist. It sometimes, in my mind, takes away the individuality of each

artist’s heart and soul.

Lori Portka’s quote for the day can become yours:

“I make artwork that is a reflection of gratitude and joy to the world.”


What is your passion or how do you find your ‘bliss?’

Will sharing it broaden and expand your life and horizons?

Will it bring happiness to someone else?



29 responses »

    • I am so glad, Eric, that you added this comment. I like the way that you mentioned that sometimes even the “seemingly trite ones” speak for something. I also like that you mentioned “small steps accumulate and create inertia.” I feel blessed with this new thought. Thanks, Eric!

    • Wonderful way of capturing this meaning and expressing it, Eli! Oh I love this line: “When the rest of life looks darkest, our passions are often the only light.” Then spreading it, using your term of “illumination” is also just gorgeous. Thank you for expanding on my thoughts and really hitting a home run here!

  1. Robin I had to go to her webiste before I even finished reading this post! Thank you! I don’t know her whole story yet but I feel like I’ve woken up after years of hiding. This is wonderful. Thank you!

    • I am so glad you found Lori, so wonderful that you are feeling like you just woke up after years of hiding. I am blessed by this, Colleen. I really am moved to tears by your reaction. You are giving me reason to thank you, Colleen. But I will politely say, “You’re welcome, my dear friend!”

  2. Writing. It is writing for me. Sure I sing… act like a looney and make people laugh, but my passion has been and shall always be writing. I loved this post, by the way. Frankly, I embrace life with both hands and feel so grateful for the joy to be found here. It is so sad that some wait so long to learn that lesson. Nevertheless, I will check her art out – I am more than curious! 🙂 Well done, Robin! MH

    • This was so wonderfully written, MH, a gift to me instead of your receiving… you gave one back! Thanks for saying these lovely comments, I am so excited about how people are receiving this post. Take care and keep on grabbing life, sharing your joy and spreading all the funny, kind and craziness around. I like your inner comedienne, MH, too!

    • It was sad to read she waited so long, by holding back her joy… I am glad it was inspiring and you are quite busy with your poetry and lovely photographs, family and teaching, too. Thanks for this set of comments, Brenda!

      • You are such an avid observer and such a good friend. I like you heaps! 🙂 Oh, and I forgot, no the kids don’t have cowboy boots. They have sneakers and Merrills and water shoes. And I feel like a big spender!! LOL

  3. Thanks for sharing this message. I too subscribe to the idea that gratitude for what we do have is so important to help you get through life in the best way possible. There’s a lot to be said for appreciating the small joys in the everyday.

    • I am so glad to find you here, so sorry that I was looking in my ‘waiting for approval’ section of wordpress, this happens once in awhile that I find some nice people here! I appreciate your philosophy that there are small (and big) joys to be found in our everyday lives! You are so right! Hugs and hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend! Smiles, Robin

      • Thanks Robin, alas, here in Australia it is not a holiday weekend, but a weekend nonetheless, so – grateful! I love the concept of your blog and look forward to reading more from you!

    • I think you are fine, take your time, we all understand how things can go up and down, in a moment’s notice. But popping the bread in to make some toast, may be what will bring some kind of happiness. Your post about the butcher’s paper with the wild imagination of your daughter’s drawings/colorings saved in its being folded into fourths in a special box, was such a bright spot in my weekend. I had to go home and put a few on my refrigerator, that I had deemed ‘old’ and ‘making my fridge seem crowded.’ Now, it is bursting with pictures from my grandies. I liked your “Jersey Boys” post which showed you out and about, having a nice time with Mr. S. (through the pictures in your words, Jen!) Hugs, Robin

      • I am glad you have resurrected some of the drawings, I always planned on framing a few, but never got around to it.smiles yes through my words..had me looking for the camera 😉

  4. what a wonderful concept and way to live. gratitude and positive thoughts and actions are contagious, it’s important that we remember to live this way even in the hardest of times, and especially then. for me, i get joy out of creative pursuits: writing, creating collage art, playing and working with children, a walk in a beautiful place, hearing a piece of music, and listening to someone to learn about them and their story.

    • You gave an excellent list of things that fill your life with Joy, Beth! I can picture you writing in your cottage, outside by your fairy garden, making collages, playing and enjoying the children at school, then your own children and grandies, music, walking in nature and listening to someone and learning… you enjoy learning and you also, give us lessons in your writings, Beth. Thanks…

  5. Robin, what an inspirational post. I follow my bliss with reading and writing and chatting with people, I suppose. I hope that brings happiness to others. Although maybe it doesn’t to my husband 😉 who might be happy if I gave him all my attention. But then I would be so boring that he might not like that, after all. I’ll tell him that I follow my bliss because it brings him happiness–he just doesn’t know it ;).

    • Thank you, hope you will check Lori Portka’s artwork out, since it includes cards, paintings and even jewelry to enjoy looking at.
      I think that by sharing your writing, Luanne you are spreading a lot of happiness. Also, by featuring others’ writings you help me a lot to understand memoirs, styles of writing and how to find out more in journals, too.
      Oh, and as far as your personal life, I think men sometimes like to have someone sitting with them, whether they are paying attention to them or what they are doing, it is the companionship that is most meaningful. Smiles, Robin

  6. What a delightful story. I am so glad that lady found her passion and love of art after all those years – and to make it a path of gratitude, what an inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

    • I am so glad you enjoyed this, Elizabeth! I think that we are on a path of gratitude, too. We have a lot of interest in art and other cultural interests. We may want to figure out our way of spreading this, but I just did a small thing this weekend, I took my 2 grandsons to talk for only about 10 minutes with a woman who has lived in my apt. building for 25 years. She knew their Mom, my daughter, when she was a single woman living there. They found out this woman was so thrilled and we had brought her two colorful drawings for her refrigerator. It is simple to do something like this, and so worthwhile. Not complicated or world peace, but brought us all smiles and the boys let her hug them, too. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren rarely visit, I noticed awhile ago. Just took a few minutes and off we went to the pool! Hugs, Robin

  7. Nice… kind of like a Pay it Forward plus 97.
    My bliss, on the horizon to bring happiness …write, write, write. 🙂

    Thanks for all your visits. Glad to make you smile! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s