“If we can experience the ways that delight travels the same pathways as despair,
we see the trove of enriched awareness that waits in our vulnerability.”
~ Kristi Nelson, Wake Up Grateful
Welcome to this day of opening to joy, of cultivating our capacity to let the light in even in dark times. Amidst the pandemic, some of the familiar sources of joy and pleasure in many people’s lives may feel as if they’re disappearing. The inability to gather with loved ones, to attend services at a place of worship, to go to a concert or ballgame, to visit a beloved elder in the nursing home — all can be sources of heartache. In the midst of this very real loss, how do we intentionally allow space for pleasure? How might this be a way of expressing our deep gratitude for life in all its complexity? Consider the possibility that the uncertainty of this time is actually an invitation for us to take notice of the small pleasures awaiting our attention.
- Begin with what is now, hopefully, becoming your daily habit of pausing and getting present in this moment, this day of your life.
- We invite you to turn your attention to the moments of joy and small pleasures offering themselves to you right now. What we’re each missing or longing for is real, but so is the morning light through a window, a favorite song on the radio, the coffee or tea brewing, a relationship we can count on. From exactly where you are, open your senses to the small pleasures within range. What do you see, smell, hear, feel that offers itself freely for your grateful pleasure? How do you feel when you more fully notice these things? Take a few moments to write down your reflections. If you’re able, walk around your home or your neighborhood and make a mental list of those things that offer pleasure simply by their being.
- Another way of opening ourselves to the pleasures of daily life is through the simple perspective exercise of reframing our responsibilities as privileges. This small shift in perspective can turn a routine task or chore into a pleasurable experience if we allow ourselves to release the sense of obligation that often accompanies these activities. Explore the Obligation to Opportunity practice as one way to discover the possibility of pleasure directly in the midst of the great fullness of your life.
We also invite you to share your reflections below.
Enjoy the full seven-day Wake Up to Perspective practice.
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What is giving me pleasure right now is the letter I received last week from a friend I had when I lived in the Quad City area (IL and IA) back in 1988-89. And even though we connected deeply, we had both moved away and had lost touch over the years. But now, suddenly, she has reappeared in my life and this is such a joy! We are going to be doing a bit of ZOOM-ing, 😊 in the weeks to come. For her, I am filled with thanks-giving!
I’m grateful for to work from home. I’m blessed.
I’m grateful to work from home, but today I felt something like regret, sadness.
I don’t know exactly, but it was difficult to start the job.
I stopped. I took a deep breath.
And… I had an idea: I put a tasty apple on the branch near the window. In an instant birds flew to enjoy the apple!
My perspective changed and I managed to do my job with lightness and gratitude.
Responsibility as a privilege, and an obligation to an opportunity……. great ideas!! I am going to put them into practice, hopefully.
For instance, I do not like to cook…. so I am going to try it as a privilege to create something new/ different or an opportunity to learn/ feel new things.
I really enjoyed the view from one of the windows:: a pond, some strong pines, others are dormant waiting until Spring, squirrels running around, some dogs barking . and the beautiful changing sky!!!!
Also, smelling my essential oils when I put then on!!!! or when I run a diffuser!!!
Doing my Centering Prayer…..I feel blessed!!
Watching some of my favorite programs, and having a good cup of tea with some cookies.
There are many more instances..
.Thanks for a good reflection, filled with joy, appreciation, gratefulness, and love.
A few of the pleasures I am aware of in this present moment include: the light shining in my window, the holly wreath painting I made yesterday via an Art as Spiritual practice Zoom class at the National Cathedral, the smooth ink flowing from my pen, my granddaughter who just texted me, and my phone which keeps me connected to her. When I am really aware in the present moment, each moment is a gift❤️
For the past two years I have lived with the diagnosis of Dementia/Stage 1 Alzheimer’s. I have had to learn to live in the present and enjoy the many memories of family and friends and the support of the congregation that we pastor. Everyday is a joy for me. Bro. David’s book “Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer” has helped tremendously for me and those I have shared it with. Thank you
I can smell the candle burning on my desk that I light when I am wiring ( a lovely mix of tobacco and sandalwood), look outside and see a gorgeous cloudy day with rain gently falling (a rarity in Colorado), and I give thanks for my hot cup of coffee, the women in my writing group who are cheering me on as I get close to finishing my book, and the music playing on my “cozy” playlist from Spotify. I am also thankful for the warmth of my home and the sound of my little puppy breathing as she naps next to me while I work this morning.
Today I am aware of and grateful for my job! It is good to have purpose and to receive compensation for my efforts.
I am blessed beyond measure to work from home.
I am grateful for an intense, bright blue sky this morning showcasing both the Sun and Moon.
My loving wife and partner…
A dry roof over our head…
Our rescue dog Ziggie….
Homemade red sauce!
This morning I had to get up early to attend an International Coaching Conference. I was doing it because I need to get some continuing education credits to renew my professional certification. The word ‘need’ reflects my perspective at the start……I was doing it because I was obligated to do it in order not to lose something. And yet, on the call I realized how interesting, insightful, engaging this work was. I realized how much I love it and rather than an obligation that feels heavy and is filled with ‘to do’s’, I realized it’s a privilege. The opportunity to learn with others in this way, at this time, is unique and I felt grateful and appreciative for the opportunity to just be in the room. It was freeing to turn attention away from those inner voices of complaining to, ‘wow, this is amazing. I love being here’. Tomorrow I have a call even earlier and having had this experience has shifted already the way I am looking at getting up for this next call. I even have a call later in the week that starts at 2:00 am and even that one feels doable now 🙂
There is such a shift when we tell ourselves “I get to…” vs. “I have to” or “I need to.” As I read your post I smiled and it reminded me that the 20 hour CEU course I “need” to complete this month can actually be something I enjoy and not just do to check off my list. Thank you for the reminder today, Victoria!!