Welcome to DAY 8 of our practice. Let’s begin…
Please close your eyes while you take three slow, deep breaths. Then open your eyes and consider the invitation to: “Share Your Blessings.“
Throughout our week together we have noticed, contemplated and cultivated an appreciation for the gifts, privileges, and beauty in our lives. We have seen the extraordinary in the ordinary. We have opened to surprise and to our hearts’ wisdom and compassion. In contact with such great-fullness, it is time to share our blessings!
At the close of A Grateful Day, Br. David says:
“And so I wish… that you would open your heart to all these blessings and let them flow through you, that everyone whom you will meet on this day will be blessed by you, just by your eyes, by your smile, by your touch, just by your presence. Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. And then it will really be a good day.”
When we live our lives in great-fullness and are in touch with the blessings and abundance that come from this, giving and sharing is a natural next step. But, it’s not always the step we take. In a society which celebrates and promotes scarcity and self-preoccupation, we can be fearful that our generosity may be seen as naive, that what we are inclined to share may be rejected, or that our giving will deplete us. It can be tempting to save and savor the “goodies” for ourselves and enjoy the richness of what delights us as private pleasure. And yet, withholding our contributions can separate us from others and the world. In sharing our blessings we participate in a virtuous cycle, and bring ourselves, others, and the world the full benefits of the good, the true, and the beautiful. Blessings need to flow and when they do, we are all richer for it.
So in this spirit of giving from great-fullness, today we invite you to:
- Set an intention to share your blessings. Notice how simply setting this intention impacts you.
- Smile easily and often today. Notice how it feels to smile and how your smile impacts others. Notice how you feel when you receive a smile from another.
- Consider your time, skills and privileges and how you might share these blessings. Talk to a friend or do a little research online to clarify your heart’s interests and values, and possible ways to be generous.
- Offer an act of kindness. For example: pay for the next person’s coffee in line; let someone go ahead of you when driving or in the grocery store; offer to do an errand for a busy parent or caregiver; shovel the snow from your neighbor’s sidewalk. For more inspiration, see Daily Grateful Living Practice Ideas.
- Share A Grateful Day with your friends and family and ask them what they are grateful about in their lives right now.
- At day’s end, reflect upon what you noticed, how it feels and what might have changed as a result of following your intention to share your blessings.
- Write about your experiences in a journal and/or share below.
If you would like to explore this topic further, you might appreciate:
- When Giving Is All We Have – a poem by Alberto Ríos
- Returning the Gift – an essay by Robin Wall Kimmerer
- Why a Grateful Brain Is a Giving One – an article by Christina Karns, Greater Good Science Center
- A Grateful Day – the video (5:23) meditation by Br. David that inspired this practice.
Enjoy the full eight-day A Grateful Day | A Grateful Year practice.
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Doreen, I join hands with you in this blessing xx
Today is a perfect day to share blessings – the Women’s March is so exciting and joyful and has unlimited opportunities to share blessings as 1000s of people unite to make the world a more caring compassionate place.
Walking down the street with everyone smiling and joyful – even though so many there are frustrated for different reasons, is a gift. So, so many smiles.
The various signs people carry, the buttons worn, and the conversations contribute to the future of possibilities.
I spoke to so many total strangers today – and many spoke to me. I talked for a long time to a woman police officer – she was fascinating.
The blessings of a beautiful sunny not too cold day helped to unite and advance so much that words and signs and conversations could not – but were there.
Life is beautiful
It has been a wonderful week of reflection on all for which I am so deeply grateful. The suggestions were just the nudge I needed to open up a bit as I go about my daily business – smile and ask how someone’s day is going, spend time talking when I planned to do some studying while waiting….things that otherwise I would not have done – being so very focused on my own agenda.
Thank you gratefulness team for opening my eyes to the people and other things around me.
Very adorable 8 day practice. Just to reflect about it, blessings, I noticed myself smiling. Think about blessings is powerful! Overflows the heart in fraternal love.
“Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you.” Like a river, flowing to the sea…
What a wonderful gift the Gratefulness team has shared this past week. You are certainly sharing the wisdom of Brother David and those who have contributed to this series of meditations. You have inspired me to slow down and appreciate the fullness of my life and the life on this planet – both animate and inanimate.
A quick thought on sharing. I believe that everything I’ve accumulated in this life material or otherwise is a gift to me from our universe.
None of my gifts are truly “mine” – they are part of the energy of the universe and are meant to be shared. In sharing these gifts, we actually create MORE energy. Positive, beautiful energy that adds to the incredible resonance of our world.
My experience has been that the more I share, the more the universe provides to me; allowing me to share again. Once we realize that no one is entitled to anything, no one is promised anything, we can begin to feel grateful. Sharing without expectations is one way to spread the joy and create more joy in all of our lives.
Love this, Rocco! So true and so beautifully said! Thank-you!
This 8 day Gratefulness practice has been and is so inspirational and helpful!! I intend to work with the lessons each day!! I thank-you from my heart for your sharing this 8 day practice!!
Peace, love and blessings to all.?
Thank you for this series of reflections. I am still on Day 1 as I seek to integrate more deeply the lessons I want to learn. Helpful series to start the year and lead into Lent which is just a few weeks away. God bless you all