Life was bestowed on you. You came into this world crying as an infant and there is a good chance that is how you will leave. But will yours be tears of joy and appreciation or tears of fear and regret? You are empowered to choose. 

The practice of grateful living gives you the perspective needed to discover meaning and encounter joy even in the most unlikely experiences. The gift of life is the opportunity to encounter the fullness of the human experience with all of its complex, messy, and beautiful attributes — deep experiences of love, reconciliation in impossible circumstances, grief and loss, being understood and understanding, music, art, sex, and every relaxed exhale following hard work. Many have come before you and many will follow, but the life you are living is uniquely yours. You can live your life by awakening to all it has to show you, but first you have to choose to tune in and welcome what is before you.

This daily practice invites you to recognize that you have been given authority to fully live your life. This authority was granted by all of the miraculous factors and innumerable events that had to occur for you to even exist in the first place. By taking a few moments each morning to ground yourself in the opportunities of the day ahead, you are empowered to live a more meaningful and joyful life.

The Practice

Morning Grounding Practice: I am here

Take a few moments each morning to complete the below sentences, whether in your mind or as a written reflection.

  • I am here and today I will breathe life into ______________.
  • I am here and today I will remain on the lookout for opportunities to  ______________.
  • I am here and today I will remain grounded in myself by approaching today with ______________.
  • I am here and today I will surrender to things beyond my control by ______________.
  • I am here and today I will awaken to my life by  ______________.

Evening Reflective Practice: I give thanks

Reflect on your answers to the morning grounding practice and then consider the following, whether in your mind or as a written reflection.

  • As today concludes, I stop to recognize the conclusion of a day.
  • I look back on my day and see that I am grateful for ______________.
  • Tomorrow, I will go into my day aware that ______________.

Photo by Shona Corsten

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Joe Primo, Grateful Living

Joe Primo, Grateful Living

About the author

Joe Primo is the Chief Executive Officer of Grateful Living. He is a passionate trainer, community-builder, and program developer whose accomplishments in the field of grief made him a leading voice on resilience and adversity. Grateful living became a pillar to his work since his first introduction to Br. David Steindl-Rast in 2005. An entrepreneurial leader, Primo designed, built, expanded, and led Good Grief, Inc., the largest children and family bereavement organization in the Northeast, from 2007-2022. His TED talk, “Grief is Good,” reframed the grief paradigm as a responsive resource. He is the author of “What Do We Tell the Children? Talking to Kids About Death and Dying” and numerous articles.