During this time of isolation, we are sharing prayers, poems, inspirational music, videos and quotes that uplift our spirits in a special email newsletter each Tuesday. Here is an excerpt from our February 16 edition.
Wake Up Grateful
In 2020, Kristi Nelson, Executive Director of the Network for Grateful Living, published her new book “Wake Up Grateful.” If you are finding it challenging to stay positive during covid, you might find this book helpful. It is a handy guidebook on creating a grateful life. As Kristi says, it starts with grateful moments which add up to grateful days.
Here are her five guiding principles for adopting grateful living as a way of life. They were originally created by Brother David Steindl-Rast, the founder of the Network for Grateful Living, and form the basis for Kristi’s book.
1.Life is a Gift:“This is a wondrous day. I’ve never seen this one before.” -Maya Angelou
“Grateful living is fundamentally grounded in the invitation to see life itself as a gift: an unexpected gift that you did not need to do anything to earn or deserve. It is coming to you, wrapped in a wide range of packaging. In every moment that you are alive, this life has been given to you.”
2. Everything is a surprise: “Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.”
“When you regard life as an unexpected gift and one you are lucky to have renew itself each day, it can shift your experience of expectation. Freed from expectations, you learn to not simply experience life as you think it will be and it has always been, but are curious to discover the inevitably surprising things life has in store for you next.”
3. The ordinary is extraordinary: “Some people have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy.”
“One of the most direct pathways to a sense of abundance is to savour and celebrate the ordinary. Ordinary may simply be the label that we put on something we have neglected to appreciate or have come to take for granted. The vantage point of the distant observer helps expand our awareness as does the cultivation of awe and appreciation.”
4. Appreciation is generative: “I would rather be able to appreciate things I cannot have than to have things I am not able to appreciate.”
“Appreciation brings about a shift from passively to actively engaging with life. What we celebrate with our attention will thrive and grow. Appreciation turns strangers into friends, food into a feast, creativity into art, and people into their best selves. Appreciation can turn our planet into a sacred home and our community into an extended family.”
5. Love is transformative: “What gives me hope is that life unfailingly responds to the advances of love.”
“Love is our nature-essential to us and essential to life. It comes alive through poetry, music, touch, prayer, cooking, art, caretaking, work, service, and gratitude. Grateful living is a practice of love in action. When our hearts are awakened to love, our capacity to cherish life increases. “