A bee on a purple and yellow flower, amidst others

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Discover this Principle

Explore the principle The Ordinary Is Extraordinary through this curated collection of resources.

Poetry

The Patience of Ordinary Things

by Pat Schneider
It is a kind of love, is it not? How the cup holds the tea,…
Articles

Miracle Day

by Anthony Doerr
“What are miracles? Miracles are avocados in winter and starling swarms and the handwriting of…

The Ordinary is Extraordinary

The 180-degree opposite of gratefulness is to take life for granted. It is the death knell to a satisfying and joyful life. If you want the most basic instruction in how to live gratefully, it would be to stop taking people, possessions, your body, time — literally anything — for granted. Put in positive terms, actively treasuring whatever is yours to treasure is the shortest path to joy you can take.

Committing to taking nothing for granted is an ambitious daily practice. “Nothing” is a lot. One thing each day acknowledged and appreciated that we previously overlooked — that is enough. These commitments are like the
chime after the snooze button, a reminder to wake up and not let life pass us by. Or not walk past the extraordinary people we love, relegating them to the ordinary. Or even expect them to always be there, right where we left them.

One of the most accessible and direct pathways to a sense of abundance — after the recognition that life is always bestowing the gift of itself on you — is to savor and celebrate the ordinary.

Kristi Nelson

When you see the ordinary as extraordinary and take nothing for granted, this alone can turn your life into a treasure trove. If you look at everything with appreciative eyes, you are likely to be overwhelmed by the amazing gifts at your fingertips, the abundance of how much is in service to your life. Awakening to the great good fortune that is ours can put the kibosh on our feeling of needing “more.” The practice of fully appreciating what is already in front of us can be a joyful long-term engagement. You might be surprised as you begin this practice to find that you already have all the abundance that you envied, craved, or thought you needed to get something.

Excerpted from Wake Up Grateful: The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted

Wake Up Grateful

The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted

What does it mean to truly live gratefully, every day? Wake Up Grateful unlocks the path to recognizing abundance in every moment, and gives readers the tools to bring this transformational shift in perspective into their daily lives.

Digging Deeper

For continued exploration of celebrating the ordinary, dive into these additional resources.

person walking over a yellow and blue heart on concrete ground
Stories of Grateful Living

Three Small Things I’m Grateful For

by Alex Elle
We don’t need extraordinary things to happen to be grateful. Being alive is marvelous and…
Community Reflections

Community Reflections: Savoring the Day

by The Grateful Living Community
“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from…
Practices

Gratitude Art Journaling: A Guided Exploration

by Margaret Alvarez
Margaret Alvarez shares how gratitude came to be such an important part of her life,…
Practices

Summer Blessings: Practice Series I

by The Grateful Living Team
An eight-day practice to more deeply notice, appreciate, and feel nourished by the blessings always…
Practices

Summer Blessings: Practice Series II

by The Grateful Living Team
An eight-day practice to more deeply notice, appreciate, and feel nourished by the blessings always…
Hands together in a prayer position. Flour in the air.
Poetry

Dust

by Danusha Laméris
It covers everything, fine powder, the earth’s gold breath falling softly on the dark wood…

The Way of Grateful Living

Grateful Living is supported by guiding pathways, daily practices, habits of mind,
and behaviors that make us more appreciative and available to life. 

These Five Guiding Principles are touchstones to support your practice:

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Life is a Gift

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Everything is Surprise

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The Ordinary Is Extraordinary

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Appreciation Is Generative

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Love is transformative