Love Is Transformative
Love is our nature — essential to us and essential to life. Love lives deeply rooted within each of us, protected from the comings and goings of people and circumstances. It simply exists as a force within us and around us. Love wants to come alive, and does so through a variety of expressions: poetry, music, touch, prayer, cooking, art, caretaking, work, kindness, service, gratitude, and more. Whenever we nurture and tend the things we value, that is love in action.
Grateful Living is a practice of love in action. When our hearts are awakened to love, our availability to life and our capacity to cherish it increase. Compassion is naturally activated in the corners of our hearts when we are lit up by love. We see each other and the Earth as kin, as interconnected for good. A loving and grateful heart is a generous heart. All of the goodness that love delivers will find grateful reception in everything and everyone interested in waking up. What a blessing that our love can be awakened, offered, and received.
When you are grateful, you know that you belong to a network of give-and-take and you say ‘yes’ to that belonging. This ‘yes’ is the essence of love.Br. David Steindl-Rast
The greater our capacity to be with the messy and painful parts of life, the greater our capacity to experience love. They flow into and from the same vulnerable heart. If we try to control our experience of life and love, we close ourselves off to the unexpected and surprising gifts of grace and belonging. Love is resilient enough to remind us of itself, even in painful times. This trustworthy love can acknowledge the presence of beauty in the midst of despair and struggle. Love that acknowledges the fullness of our truths delivers courage. It is an activator. When we open our eyes wide, our hearts follow. When we open our hearts, our actions follow. Love that stands to face the “full catastrophe,” as Jon Kabat-Zinn calls it, is tenacious and fierce, capable of deeply touching and transforming lives.
Grateful Living fills your heart to overflowing. In making yourself more conscious of and connected to the beauty, wonder, and opportunities of life and the people who surround you, you are able to be filled up. When love flows from this experience of fullness, it spills over into acts of kindness and compassion. It cannot help itself. This kind of love flows in an ever-replenishing cycle.
Excerpted from Wake Up Grateful: The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted
Wake Up Grateful
The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted
What does it mean to truly live gratefully, every day? Wake Up Grateful unlocks the path to recognizing abundance in every moment, and gives readers the tools to bring this transformational shift in perspective into their daily lives.
The Way of Grateful Living
Grateful Living is supported by guiding pathways, daily practices, habits of mind,
and behaviors that make us more appreciative and available to life.
These Five Guiding Principles are touchstones to support your practice: