Most people spend a significant percentage of their lives engaged in some form of employment or vocation. To varying degrees, and for better and worse, our work in the world is something that we “have” to do, and it defines us and shapes our lives. Whether we are in leadership positions, work “for” others, or are self-employed, our work is a central commitment which influences how we respond to all of life. Sometimes, if we are really fortunate, we love our work. Yet, still, many of us are accustomed to checking our values and vulnerabilities at the workplace door. We relegate our efforts to live in alignment with our deepest values and commitments to the few hours and relationships when we are not working. This can leave gratefulness lacking for most of the waking hours of our lives.
Grateful Living practices offer ways to connect our deep values with our work, and with those with whom we work. We can actively advance and nourish our own commitments through exploring how gratefulness establishes its relevance through the portal of our employment. How can we lead in new ways? How can we respond with equanimity fueled by gratitude? How can we model that which we most deeply believe in? How can our work lives fill us up to the brim with what we need from life and offer us a meaningful terrain for our personal and professional actualization? Grateful living wants to be an answer…
Through the practice of gratitude we can create a powerful antidote to carry with us…
(May, 2014) “Sharing has elements of inter-connectedness, of a village-like community, of a transformative altruism. But ‘economy’ puts us squarely in a transactional mindset and culture of convenience,” writes Nipun Mehta in his article which explores the potential for generosity rather than “economy” to lead the “sharing” revolution.
(July, 2013) Finding one’s passion and true purpose in life is essential to human flourishing. In this video, Sir Ken Robinson argues that education, organizations and communities need to be built on a model of diversity rather than conformity, so that every individual is able to discover and develop their unique talents and abilities.
(May, 2014) What if you really could change the world? Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize winner, firmly believes that each and every one of us can and should contribute to creating a better world. In this short film Jody explains why it is so important that we strive to make a difference.
(On Being, February 2016) Brain surgeon James Doty is on the cutting edge of our knowledge of the brain and the heart: how they talk to each other; what compassion means in the body and in action; and how we can reshape our lives and perhaps our species through the scientific and human understanding we are now gaining.
(2007) On 4 February 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave what was to be his last sermon, ‘‘The Drum Major Instinct,’’ from the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church. This is an excerpt from the sermon set to music. “If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. (Amen) That’s a new definition of greatness.”
Gratitude, it seems, is a key—perhaps the key—to feeling more satisfied with your life. It improves your relationships with loved ones. It’s even good for your heart. Learn more about these and many other cutting-edge findings in The Science of Gratitude. The program combines scientific research with personal stories illustrating the benefits and obstacles to feeling truly grateful.
(Business Insider, November 2015) Faisal Hoque writes how successful entrepreneurs, authors and innovators achieve more, are happier, and make a difference, by consciously practicing gratitude.
(November 2015) “I get up everyday to work, I get up to study, because I have a reason – the construction of my own happiness.” In Venezuela, organized communities are building their own homes with financial support from the government.
(Massage Magazine, November 2015) How might we cultivate gratefulness as a way of being rather than settling for gratitude as an intermittent way of feeling? Gratefulness surfaces whenever we remember that life itself is a precious gift that is irrefutably impermanent; this paradox allows the vulnerability and potency of gratefulness to become the lens through which we experience the fullness of our lives.
A grateful living practice for those who offer massage and other healing treatments….
Imagine a restaurant where there are no prices on the menu and where the check reads $0.00 with only this footnote: “Your meal was a gift from someone who came before you. To keep the chain of gifts alive, we invite you to pay it forward for those who dine after you.” That’s Karma Kitchen, a volunteer-driven experiment in generosity.
(June, 2015) Every year, local communities on either side of the Apurimac River Canyon use traditional Inka engineering techniques to rebuild the Q’eswachaka Bridge. The entire bridge is built in only three days. The bridge has been rebuilt in this same location continually since the time of the Inka.
(July, 2015) After a successful career in the corporate world, Shane left it behind to pursue a more meaningful life with his family. Trained in the best leadership workshops, hear what this unusual school bus driver has to say about the children he drives to school.
(On Being, July 2015) She works at an emerging 21st century intersection of industry, social healing, and diverse contemplative practices. Raised Catholic with Joan of Arc as her hero, Mirabai Bush is one of the people who brought Buddhism to the West from India in the 1970s. She is called in to work with educators and judges, social activists and soldiers. She helped create Google’s popular employee program, Search Inside Yourself. Mirabai Bush’s life tells a fascinating narrative of our time: the rediscovery of contemplative practices, in many forms and from many traditions, in the secular thick of modern culture.
(2012) Many people believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk from TEDxBloomington, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.
Drawing from deep ecology, systems theory and spiritual traditions, the Work That Reconnects (WTR) builds motivation, creativity, courage and solidarity for the transition to a sustainable human culture. First emerging in 1978, this pioneering, open-source body of work has its roots in the teachings and experiential methods of Joanna Macy.
How can we live our most deeply-felt values through our work life? What would a “grateful” economy look like? The books in this list offer ways to reimagine and recreate businesses which support our vision of a more just, sustainable and enlightened world.
(2010) In Katie Teague’s documentary, Br. David says that trust and lack of faith are at the core of the economic crisis.
A story of an inner journey – sparked by an accident on a river trip – that uncovers the depths of awareness and compassion.
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