As life becomes harder and more threatening, it also becomes richer, because the fewer expectations we have,
the more the good things of life become unexpected gifts that we accept with gratitude.
” ― Etty Hillesum

At A Network for Grateful Living we often refer to gratefulness as an orientation to life that has an unconditional and expansive embrace. Such an embrace isn’t reserved for that which is pleasant, desired, or going our way; it accepts and includes the great fullness of life — the entirety of our experience. Such an embrace opens us to the teachings and opportunities within every moment. It offers us what we need not merely to survive difficult times but to appreciate their gifts, even when the gifts take time to reveal themselves. When life feels too small or too big to handle, too predictable or too uncertain, we need gratefulness most.

As our daily realities continue to shift in the face of Covid-19, we offer the following collection of practices, poetry, readings, ways to connect, and more to help care for, uplift, and guide each other in and through these times. This collection will be updated, so feel free to bookmark and revisit…

Quick Links
Each link below will jump you to the corresponding section:


Practices

Transforming Difficult Emotions (7:00): In this meditation, Jack Kornfield guides us in exploring how to transform the difficult emotions that arise in our lives. The practice of cultivating loving awareness and interested attention toward intense feeling states in body and heart helps us create a field of deep understanding and transformation.

Metta Meditation by Sylvia Boorstein (7:30): This meditation, offered as a resource through On Being, invites us to cultivate loving-kindness toward ourselves and others. This simple practice can profoundly impact the way we orient toward ourselves and others, especially during this time of hardship.

Handwashing: A Grateful Practice: As we endeavor to wash our hands more frequently and with more intention, this practice offers several ideas for embracing the opportunity that comes with what could feel like an obligation.

Practicing Faith in Life: Using the foundation of Stop. Look. Go., this practice helps us let go of our need to control life, inspiring us instead to be with the unknown.


Poetry

Disruption, Edda Hackl

Lockdown, Richard Hendrick

We Look with Uncertainty, Anne Hillman

The Patience of Ordinary Things, Pat Schneider

From Which It All Began, Bernadette Miller

Today, When I Could Do Nothing, Jane Hirshfield

Instructions on Not Giving Up, Ada Limón

Daydream, A.S.J. Tessimond


Ways to Connect

eCards: A wonderful way to stay in touch with dear ones near and far. Explore our robust and varied collection of eCards and feel free to send directly as eCards or download and share via text or in an email.

Candles: Lighting a virtual candle can connect you to inner stillness, to prayers, blessings and intentions, and to a global community.

Questions: Engage with our Daily Question as a personal practice or to deepen connection with family, friends and colleagues in virtual on in-person conversations.

Sound Sanctuary: Connect with nature! Let nature’s healing music ease the cares and concerns of your day and soothe your mind/body/spirit.

Gratefulness Gatherings: Explore grateful living in community. Through rich discussion, meaningful connections with others, and collective wisdom, virtual Gratefulness Gatherings help inform and deepen our experience of grateful living.

Gratefulness in your Inbox: Subscribe to our offerings. We send gratefulness-inspired quotes, poetry, and resources through our Word for the Day, Poem a Month, and twice-monthly newsletter.


Readings

Living Gratefully in the Time of the Coronavirus (2:30): This offering from the Gratefulness Team suggests possibilities for responding to the moment at hand with great fullness of heart, helping us to build capacity for facing challenge and difficulty.


Grateful in a Crisis (2:00): In this response to a question about how we can find opportunity in crisis, Br. David Steindl-Rast invites us to methodically approach the situation with attentive action and courageous trust.


Deepening Our Comfort with Uncertainty (2:00): In this essay, Kristi Nelson reminds us of the liberating opportunity that comes with letting go of our need to know.


Martin Luther King Jr.’s Unsettled World Has Lessons For Ours: In this essay, Lucas Johnson reflects on the faultiness in our global systems along with the opportunities we have to change how we see each other and recognize the shared nature of life on this planet.


Fear and Anger: In this essay, Jack Kornfield describes how we can develop a healthy response to pain and fear before it becomes anger.


Finding Gratitude Even in Dark Times: In this blog, Ken Miller acknowledges the pain so many people are experiencing during lockdown as well as the opportunity we have, as we work towards addressing these problems, to pause and to recognize the changes, small and large, for which we can feel grateful.


Fanning the Flames: In this blog, Fabiana Fondevila calls us to not give up without a fight the measure of fire we have left, the tenuous sense of tribe.


Broken but Blooming: In this blog, Eric Alan reminds us that beyond the essential nature of doing, is also the essential nature of being. To become better within and with each other is equally essential now.


rainbow, sun, halo, cloud

Healing the Mind: This collection of resources on gratefulness.org can offer inspiration and support for managing our emotional health, especially during challenging times.


Grief & Gratitude: Grateful Living can help remind us that it is precisely those things we appreciate and treasure most which open us to loss and grief. This collection of resources reflects the truth that gratitude and grief frequently walk hand-in-hand.


Gratefulness as Support: Community Voices (4:00): In this collection of voices, board members, staff, and international partners at A Network for Grateful Living respond to the question, how are you finding gratefulness a source of support during this challenging time? This check-in of sorts is an opportunity to learn from each other and connect through our shared interest in gratefulness.


Videos

A Grateful Day (5:22): This short video meditation awakens us to the wonders of our world, reminds us of what truly matters, and invites us to notice the everyday gifts of our lives.

Blessings (6:14): In this video, Br. David Steindl-Rast invites us to drop in to what is alive and life-giving – the very fact of life as a blessing.


Additional Inspiration

Karuna Virus: Make a practice of reading uplifting news stories. Our partners at Service Space have created the Karuna Virus site to catalogue stories of “everyday heroism” amidst this worldwide crisis.

Grateful Living: Discover the nourishing and transformative power of living gratefully through the offerings on this website and the warm heart of our global community.