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Your 9 Minute Beauty and Gratitude Challenge

2012 December 18
by Marquita Herald

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

beauty and gratitudeThis post was originally planned as my holiday “gift to you” post for Christmas week, but I decided to move it forward, because this season we’ve been reminded, in spectacular fashion, of the best and worst of humankind.

I referred to this post as a “challenge” because the video I’m sharing with you is 9 minutes in length – longer than I would normally share, and way longer than most people will tolerate sticking with a blog post. And yet, I decided to share it because I’ve watched it 3 times and each time ended up with a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat.

We are all connected as one …

So, here’s my challenge to you – make the time to watch this presentation now. If you bookmark it you’ll forget, and then it will get buried, and eventually deleted. You need this message … just going by the sea of frowns on the faces I saw around town yesterday … we all need this message! I can promise you that by the end of it, your heart will be filled to overflowing with gratitude for the beauty and wonder that surrounds us.

Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer who captures breathtaking images that celebrate life — revealing connections, universal rhythms, patterns and beauty.

Schwartzberg’s notable career spans feature films, television shows, commercials and documentaries. He won two Clio Awards for TV advertising, including best environmental broadcast spot, an Emmy nomination for best cinematography and the Heartland Film Festival’s Truly Moving Picture Award for the feature film “America’s Heart & Soul.” Schwartzberg founded Moving Art to use the power of media to inspire and entertain through television programming, DVD products, and full-length motion picture and IMAX films. His new film “Wings of Life” will be released by Disneynature. To learn more about Louie Schwartzerg and his “moving nature” visit his website at

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John F. Kennedy

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23 Responses
  1. July 25, 2013

    This is an amazing post. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. Everyone needs to see this video. We go through our day to day lives and never stop to smell taste and really feel the beauty offered to us. Learn to take time for others and be grateful that you are alive. Thanks so much for sharing this. It has really touched me. It made me cry.
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  2. January 29, 2013

    Such a lovely post Marty! Whenever I feel down and distressed I just think of the things that I have to be grateful for. This allows me to focus on the positive things in me rather than thinking of my misfortunes.
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  3. January 9, 2013

    Thanks a lot for sharing this video, Marty. It does bring a tear or two in my eyes. Love the images specially of the butterflies. A real delight to watch.

  4. Sandra permalink
    December 29, 2012

    Fascinating post. The photos were just simply amazing. Lovely piece really. Hoping to read more from you. Thanks for sharing!

  5. December 28, 2012

    Awww. :) Such a great post! Loving and appreciating everything that we have in our lives surrounding us should be our priority every waking day. Thanks for such an inspiring post! :)

  6. December 28, 2012

    This will be a surefire hit! These days, everyone wants to be beautiful!

  7. December 28, 2012

    Thanks a lot for sharing this video, Marty. It does bring a tear or two in my eyes. Love the images specially of the butterflies. A real delight to watch.

  8. December 28, 2012

    Such a deep and thought-provoking post. I wonder when I can write something of relevance such as this. Very well done!
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  9. Susan permalink
    December 23, 2012

    Thank you for sharing this. I enjoyed the amazing time lapsed photos as well as the wisdom. I will remember to bless every person I see and to really look at their faces and know they all have a story. Whenever possible I will try to learn something of their story.

  10. December 22, 2012

    Marty, that was awesome!! Thank you for sharing.

    It was my love of solitude and nature that led us to move out into the country ten years ago. I love living here, half a mile from our nearest neighbour, where maybe one vehicle per hour drives past our home. We often see moose, deer, foxes and coyotes. Even now, with a foot of snow on the ground, I look out my kitchen window and see a host of birds happily feeding from our feeders. Blue jays, magpies, chickadees, downy and hairy woodpeckers, and the beautiful pine grosbeaks.

    We are truly blessed!
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  11. December 21, 2012

    HI Marty, even though I’ve taken a break off blogging, I’m just stopping by to say Happy Holidays to all my blogging friends. Thanks for all the support, comments, visits etc. I hope you have fun with your loved ones and I wish you all the best for 2013.
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  12. Steve Borgman
    December 20, 2012

    “Live each day as if it was your first, and as if it was going to be your last.” That, to me, is one of the most powerful truths I will take from this video. But also, listening to the myriad upon myriad of things we have to be grateful for, set against the backdrop of people and nature, restored my soul as I watched this video. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  13. December 20, 2012

    Incredible video Marquita! I love time lapse videos and that was spectacular.

    I love that quote by JFK too!

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  14. December 20, 2012

    Beautiful and moving video Marquita. Don’t you think that little girl was very wise for her age? You don’t hear many children talk like that about TV. I loved the moving flowers/ plants also, it really brings them to life and shows they are able to do so much more than just look pretty!

    Thanks Marquita, and Merry Christmas to you!
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  15. December 19, 2012

    Hi Marquita,

    Thank you very much for the beautiful post.This was just what I needed as I was one of those people walking around with a frown on my face :).You’re right,we have been reminded,in dramatic fashion,of the best and worst of humankind.I wish everyone could see just how connected we are to everyone and everything.Imagine a world where we had the utmost respect for each other,and mother nature,and love was all we knew.The video was fantastic and reminded me of how we can find our smiles if we just take the time to stop and see the beauty we are surrounded by.You have definitely helped in putting a smile back on my face today.I’ve downloaded the video to share with my loved ones and intend to watch it when I need to be reminded to smile and appreciate life.

    Thank you again for sharing a beautiful,positive message,

    Jamie Bishop recently posted..THE SPIRIT OF A CHILDMy Profile

    • December 20, 2012

      Welcome Jamie! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts, and happy that you were as moved by the video as I was. I’m delighted you’ve decided to join our community of subscribers :-)

  16. December 19, 2012

    Hi Marquta,

    Thank you for this wonderful gift! This video was so moving that it brought joyful tears to my eyes. I loved the “old man” in the video. I would name it “This is Truth” In our fast paced world, we go from one thing to another and forget all those nuances that bring us joy.

    It is so important to be mindful of this. This is why I never carry a cell phone around when I leave my home. I want to enjoy that little piece of sky, the radiant sunset, the sweet smell of the trees and plants around me. I take a walk and want to make eye contact with people (difficult journey since I was born and raised in NYC lol)

    In a restaurant, I want to talk to my server. There were times I connected so well, that the server would sit at our table a moment and chat. Yes, we are all connected. If we walk with the mindset of gratefulness, it is known by a stranger passing by.

    Thanks so much, especially during the hustle-bustle of this time of year!
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  17. December 19, 2012

    Marquita, my fellow tribemate…this is a gift. Thank you so much for this:) Kaarina
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  18. December 19, 2012

    Hi Marquita! Had you not insisted on the importance of not bookmarking that video, I probably would have bookmarked it! But since I didn’t, I was met with the most peaceful and serene message surrounding our beauty and connectedness to one another. Thank you for this timely post, especially in the midst of such tragedy in our country!


  19. December 18, 2012

    Hi Marquita,
    the timing of your post couldn’t be better.
    Hopefully people will get to read your message and watch the video to give them an ‘oasis’ in the middle of there busy time.

    I like how he said in the video “Live each day as if it was your first and your last and then you will have lived that day very well.”

    Living in New Zealand I feel very blessed with the beauty around me and sometimes I remember how I saw it all when I arrived, which was astounding.

    I really appreciate that you shared this beautiful message!

    Love and Light
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  20. December 18, 2012

    Hi Marquita,

    Thank you for sharing your post and video. Wow, the images in this video are absolutely gorgeous! It’s a great reminder to be grateful for everything we have every single day. I love the words of both the little girl and the elderly gentleman.

    “Today is the one day that is given to you today.” We need reminders to be grateful and to open our hearts. “If you learn to respond as if it is was the first day of your life and the last day, then you would have spent this day very well.” I especially love the end as he shows all the different smiling faces! It’s a modern version of “Wake up and smell the roses!”

    Raena Lynn
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  21. December 18, 2012

    Hi Marquita,

    Thank you for sharing. I loved the young girl and her explanation of TV and how much better it is to explore and expand our minds :)

    It’s so easy to forget the wonders that surround us as we run around taking care of our lives.

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  22. December 18, 2012

    Hi Marquita,

    I’ve actually seen this video on YouTube and shared it myself but it started with the little girl speaking. His Ted talk wasn’t included but it was worth watching the entire video again.

    I’m glad you went ahead and shared this because I’ve been telling people for years to treat each day like it’s your last. We don’t know how much time any of us have. It’s not promised so when saying goodbye to loved ones be sure to tell them what they mean to you. Never let words go unsaid. Don’t worry about things you have no control over and enjoy the time you have right here and now.

    Life is so precious and I hate it when people have to be reminded through horrific events.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful post with us all.

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