Close your eyes or hold a soft gaze, a downward gaze.

Take a few deep breaths. This is a really special moment to give yourself the gift and to connect with the sacredness of your breath. Brother David says, “It is enough to be grateful for the next breath.” And so we commit to that gratitude here, taking this next breath gratefully.

I’m going to ask you to use your imagination. Imagine yourself approaching a special place where you know you feel a strong connection with the sacred. It could be a building or a favorite spot in the natural world, or some other place where you feel a deep sense of belonging and meaning.

Approach this place with a posture of reverence. Picture yourself moving towards this place; something familiar that’s really a special sacred place for you. Know that sacredness is awakened for you in this place. Let yourself picture what surrounds you as you begin to enter the place. Walk slowly, moving at a pace that notices and honors all that calls for your attention.

When you feel you’ve arrived at a point where you can stop and take in the essence of the place where you are, do so. Let yourself stop and notice. You can sit, or stay standing, or lie down. Let your body come to stillness and allow yourself to become more porous, more permeable, more able to fully receive the gifts that are awaiting you here.

Feel yourself exhale deeply. In this sacred space you are safe.

Now, invite yourself to open all of your senses. What do you see in this place? What might you hear? How much light is there? What are its sources?

Inhale deeply and imagine the aromas that nourish your sense of smell. What objects are around you? Do you have anything you have put in your hands? How do you experience the ground beneath you? Let yourself sink in and feel connected.

How do you experience the air above you?

How might you be connected to the history of this place?

What are the elements alive here that remind you of what wants to be nurtured in your everyday life? Again, what are the elements alive here that remind you of what wants to be nurtured in your everyday life?

Take a minute and let yourself just sink in to this sacred place and all of what it arouses in you, all of what it calms in you.

From wherever you are in this place, let yourself bow with reverence for the experience. Take a deep breath in, filling yourself with the nourishment of this place, and exhale appreciation.

Begin your leaving the same way you arrived. Slowly, intentionally, committed to preserving the ability to be so intimate with the preciousness of life. Intimate with yourself, knowing that this is a gift you can give yourself at any time.

Photo by Anton Darius

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Kristi Nelson

Kristi Nelson

About the author

Kristi Nelson is our Ambassador for Grateful Living and the author of Wake Up Grateful: The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted. She served as Executive Director at Grateful Living from 2014 - 2022. Her life’s work in the non-profit sector has focused on leading, inspiring, and strengthening organizations committed to progressive social and spiritual change. Being a long-time stage IV cancer survivor moves her every day to support others in living and loving with great fullness of heart.