The first of an eight-day exploration of everyday gratitude. Inspired by our new book, Everyday Gratitude: Inspiration for Living Life as a Gift.
Welcome to our practice. Let’s begin…
We invite you to close your eyes and take one or two slow, deep breaths. Then open your eyes and read today’s quote by Alain de Botton: “Every time we feel satisfied with what we have, we can be counted as rich, however little we may actually possess.”
How am I rich? Rich in health? Rich in years? In friendships? Or family? Are there jewels at my feet in the form of spring flowers, ancient stones, a wooden floor that supports me? Am I rich in years, wisdom, memories, lessons learned? How is satisfaction a form of wealth? How am I rich?
Share your responses to any of the above in the reflection area below, write in a journal at home (or online), or simply let the quote and question accompany you throughout the day.
Notice how this exploration impacts you… and those around you.
We are so often in conversations with ourselves and others about what is lacking, missing, or not enough in our lives. Everyday Gratitude, and grateful living, help us to see and acknowledge that which is sufficient and abundant within us and around us, taking none of our blessings and riches for granted.
For further inspiration you might appreciate:
This Moment – a poem by Howard Olivier
A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success – TED talk by Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure
Sufficiency: Reclaiming the Power of What is There – an excerpt from Lynne Twist’s book, The Soul of Money
The image above is excerpted from Everyday Gratitude © by A Network for Grateful Living; book design and lettering by Alethea Morrison; watercolors and cover illustration © Katie Eberts, with additional watercolors by Clikchic Designs; used with permission from Storey Publishing.
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I am rich in fulfillment. This is true wealth because I cannot spend all of my fulfillment, I can only add to it. My life is fulfilling because I live to feel joy and happiness and to give those same things to others.
I am rich with my family. My 88 year old mother still with me. My children each having one of their own to bless my life. My husband tolerates my insanity. I am so blessed and rich.
I’m rich because I believe in my truth that I’m never alone,I have Jesus
At some point as a child, I shed my boundless optimism and energetic spirit and picked up a view of the world that was skeptical and pessimistic. I saw what could go wrong instead of dreamed what could go right. I compared my life negatively to others and bathed in a sense of lack. I made decisions based on approval and acceptance rather than following my heart. After years of soul searching and self work, it still takes a very conscious effort for me to appreciate the immense opportunity I have through my career to have a positive impact on the lives of others, rather than focussing on the deep fatigue and overwhelm that often overtakes me. I still have to work to see abundance rather than an endless to do list and financial strain, to appreciate friendships rather than dwell on commitments or the emotional labour involved.
In the end it is my curiosity that makes me rich. My curiosity that leads me to stillness and later to awareness. It’s my curiosity that takes me out of victim mode and brings me into the present moment, that guides my eyes to see the beauty and blessings all around me. I am so grateful for where curiosity has taken me and for all the lessons I continue to learn on this life path.
Recently, It’s been quite the challenge to see the richness of my life. my heart says be grateful for my brain, family, income, where I live, the food I get to eat – pizza, cereal, coffee – and I truly do shake my head positively at the wonderful life Then my mind says it’s all cliche and you think like that because I have to. I still have a hard time bounding out of bed. I still have a hard time with my triggers. I a grateful for all the thorns. I just wish they didn’t hurt so much. This week, I’m determined to live in the richness of my life – to enjoy that sandwich just a little bit more, to enjoy my son to a little bit more, to love my wife just a little bit more. And even if it feels mechanical and pushed and doesn’t feel natural, one day it will be.
I never before thought about being rich in years. I just thought about being old. Or, at least, older. I listen to my older friends complain about their aches and pains and physical challenges (and I have some of those, too), and they often comment that getting old sucks (or, if they’re being generous), getting old is challenging. But if I reflect on being rich in years, I can see that those years have made me wise, compassionate (especially with those who suffer deeply), patient … all qualities I had next to none of as a young person. And with that realization, comes an appreciation of who I have become, of the years of trial that helped to form me, and of the people who stood with me … and I am deeply grateful. I am indeed rich in years.
You are spot on! I also have struggled with getting old, how many years left? Healthy years? Being a burden on someone, living in a nursing home. I’ll just try on living every day as if it were my last . Thanks for your insight
I have just made the most delicious blissballs and shared them around and am so grateful for the joy it brings to add pleasure and enjoyment to my loved ones lives. There is so much joy in giving. Whenever I give I receive so much more in return.
I feel rich in every aspect of my life! I am SO abundantly blessed! I am profoundly grateful that I have come to a place in my life where I am aware of all the blessings and riches in my life right now. These riches and blessings were always there, but for so many years I took them for granted. This site has helped tremendously in ‘opening my eyes’. Thank-you! What a precious gift life is!!!
Peace to all?
How grateful and thankful I am for awareness! I can see, sense, and feel and be aware of it all. How good it is!
I have just finished having lunch when I got this email. Satisfied and fulfilled with the right ground to start on. The wave of wanting what we lack is not an easy one to cut through, it comes with such a convincing story about how poor the present state is without achieving what is missing. In times when the arrow is sharp and the archer well trained, I see through this illusive grip, but I get to the point of not being able to allow myself to rest and enjoy all the riches at my display. The immense freedom that boundless thought opens, the usefulness of immagination, the immersion of sight, and the calmness of inner tranquility all scream inside me asking me to transform into a new human being. Because in reality all that we need we already have, and life is always so kind to provide us with physical sustainability so that we can focus on inner growth. If all that we need we already have, wouldn’t that then change the whole motive of our action ? An action out of an innate sense of richness rather than an illusive poverty will mean a transformation of the whole world ! A shutting down of greedy corporations, a slowing down in the tempo of living, relations will start growing out of the free response of the love of service rather than fearful attachement and competitve suspicion.
How I long and pray for such a world ! How I long to scream out the truthful Word ! That what truly satisfies and fulfills can only be given by the One who asks for non in return, that what truly matters and satiates has no cost and demands no price to be payed, but only a gentle opening.
Who then can hold us fast in chains ?!
Write an entry in your private gratefulness journal
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An eight-day practice inspired by Br. David Steindl-Rast’s appreciation of haiku.
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We are delighted to announce the release of Kristi Nelson’s book Wake Up Grateful