Foundation:The Art of Gratitude

By Jo Phillips

Rather than spending all your money on Valentine’s Day presents, why not focus on sharing love, and learning how to be more grateful, peaceful and caring? ‘The Art of Gratitude’ is a book by Meredith Gaston which explores how you can embrace and draw joy from small moments and pleasures, and be open to inspiration, abundance, joy, peace and love. The author’s detailed and thoughtful exploration of the different aspects of gratitude is supplemented with tips, exercises and inspirational quotes, all illustrated with her beautiful watercolours. Gratitude has been scientifically proven to benefit mental health and wellbeing. This book advocates cultivating gratitude into our everyday lives in order to take responsibility for our own goals and to find true happiness. Furthermore, the author Meredith Gaston has received international recognition for her enchanting paintings, characterised by their warm, bold colours and simplicity of form. If you want to see more of her work, visit her website here.


And if you want to spend money in a different way, why not support some of these amazing charities:

  • Four Paws is a charity that works tirelessly to help animals across the globe. Their aim is to end the mistreatment of animals under human control, both now and in the future. They are striving for social and political changes which secure a better future for animals in the long term.
  • Victim Support supports victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales and provides the Homicide Service supporting people bereaved through murder and manslaughter. It runs more than 100 local projects which tackle domestic violence, antisocial behaviour and hate crime, help children and young people and deliver restorative justice.
  • Marie Curie is a charity devoted to the care of people with terminal illnesses. It has also a team of specialised nurses whose mission is to free end-of-life care to people with terminal illnesses in their own homes.

Even though Valentine’s day is known as an overly saccharine celebration by many today, why not learn about the meaning of roses to show to your loved one exactly what they mean to you? It hasn’t always been a consumerism-driven day and was seen as a genuine celebration of love since the Pre-Christian era. The pink rose was the first one to be cultivated as it is most common in the wild, so it has a sort of classic, timeless feel. The meaning of pink roses is grace, sweetness and poetic romance, so if that’s what you want to convey to your loved one, why not get a McQueens and REN gift package made up of a bouquet of pink roses, a special Valentine’s vase created by Kathryn Sheriff and a REN Moroccan Rose body wash. The Moroccan rose is a warm, sweet and intense rose and comes from the “Valley of Roses” south of Morocco. If you want to convey your fiery passion and undying love, the red rose may be more suited for your cause. Beware though that even slight variations in tone have different connotations, and you might send the wrong message to your loved one!

And to further spoil that special someone, you might want to treat them to the new cocktail created by the head bartender from Connaught Hotel Walter Pintus in collaboration with Caorunn. Containing two dashes of rose water, mixed in with Caorunn gin and champagne, a tipple of this cocktail served in a sphere glass with a rose petal could be the cherry on top for this rose-tinted Valentine’s day celebration. Rose water was initially used as a method of healing, connected to Venus the Goddess of love and known as Cleopatra’s favourite beauty secret, symbolising and signifying love from there on.

Celtic Souls.2 (1)

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