What if you discovered that living with awareness and intention, focusing on what makes you feel alive, grateful and in wonder, allows you to: live longer, inspire others, experience joy, hold pain and grief with compassion, and deepen love, generosity and respect for all life?
Grateful Living is way of life that does all of the above and, in so doing, contributes to a peaceful, thriving, and sustainable world – held as sacred by all.
In considering tools for living gratefully, we offer the following practices and questions to accompany and enrich your experience of our video, A Grateful Day. We encourage you to watch the video, try these practices and reflect on the questions on your own, with family and friends, or in a grateful gatherings group…
Practices to Cultivate A Grateful Day:
- Take a moment each day this week to notice the sky—the changing clouds and colors. Try saying thank you aloud to the sky and its varied elements. How does this change your experience of the moment?
- Each day commit to looking directly into the face of another and simply smile without words. What happens? What does it feel like to show appreciation for someone? What do you feel in your body? In your heart?
- Experiment with using only a flashlight to move through the darkness of a day/evening to truly embed appreciation for the gift of light. Consider all those who went before to make electric and battery light possible and bring to mind the millions of people around the world who don’t yet have access to electric light. How does this reflection impact you? How might you honor this gift?
- Write down something at the end of the day that describes how you left the day better than you found it. Take in the positive impact that you do and can have on our world.
- Go for a walk and notice any natural and human-made wonders that give you a sense of “awe.” What is the impact?
- Commit one month a year to begin each day with a Grateful Living practice that, no matter what, you will step into with an open heart.
Questions for Reflection or Conversation:
- What are you grateful for in your life right now? Why?
- What array of colors are visible to you in this moment? How might they inspire you?
- How can you live a grateful life in the face of pain and suffering?
- Consider a difficult situation and the impact it had on you. Can you identify an aspect of the situation (or impact) that you can feel grateful about?
- Why does Brother David focus on each and every day being a gift? How does that help us live a more grateful life?
- Who are people you know who live a grateful life? How are their lives different than yours?
- Close your eyes, imagine a world where EVERYONE lives a more grateful life. Describe this world and how you fit in.
- Imagine you are on your deathbed. What are you grateful for in that moment? Are there things that you would like to change in your life now so that you can truly be grateful for a life well-lived when death comes?
Thank you for opening your eyes and heart to truly having, and contributing to, a grateful day and a grateful world!
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One result of day two experience is awareness of several sources of my grateful heart. My mom’s half-full approach to life left me with the ability to see good in others. The experience of suffering in my own life and the healing journey I am on help me to hold the pain with kindness. Numerous helping hands lift me and help me move forward.
It’s taken me 51 years to come to a place of gratefulness but I’m grateful that I have finally made it.
I am grateful for all the opportunities and situations which stretch me out of my comfort zone.
I am grateful for my job which is allowing me to work from home during this pandemic and make a living to care of myself and my loved ones.
I am more grateful than I ever knew a year ago, for all the technology I have been using to help me benefit from my life staying in the home.
I am grateful,
just to be alive. Having connected to my distance family through the modern communication tool to see and follow they are also okay. I witness my life and surrounded, moment to moment, that is enough. I love life.
I believe that it is in the face of pain where living GRATEFULLY is actually most important. I have lived with chronic pain & illness for over 20 years and have most definitely had my ups and downs with it, understandably. It was after a near-death experience that I had 8 years ago due to abusing alcohol as my “pain relief”, that I found how crucial it was to incorporate connection, mindfulness, and GRATEFULNESS into my life in order to find joy and fulfillment.
Leading up to that, I had lost all sense of self-worth and value and based it purely on the abilities that I’d lost due to my condition. It was this focus on the LACK OF that led me to the victim mentality that was nearly my demise. Today, through a very intentional GRATITUDE practice, I embrace who I am and what I have to offer the world which is so much more than what my physical capabilities are. That “lack” that I had been so focused on years ago has shown me the richness of my life of abundance today. Through my struggles, I have found my strength. And even on those days where the pain is so intense that it can take my breath away, it is through GRATEFULLY living that I know how much more I am than my pain and how much more I have to offer the world because of it.