The fourth 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 Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan: “Though you may not change it, you can handle an ugly situation beautifully.”
Is there a current conflict in your life or in the world around you, large or small, to which this quote might apply? How might we respond when something doesn’t go the way we had planned? How do we treat ourselves in those instances? What about the truly tragic situations in our lives — the ones that bring us to our knees? Are these, and other situations, ones that we might consider handling beautifully? What might beauty look like as a way to respond to the world and/or others? Even if it does not change the situation itself, what would it change?
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.
There is much difficulty in life outside of our control, and learning how to respond to these situations in ways that do not cause further harm or bring additional difficulty for us or others – this is a profound practice. To be able to actually bring beauty, in any of its varied forms, as a response to ugliness is a gift we can give ourselves, others, and the world. Everyday Gratitude, and grateful living, help us recognize that we can listen when our hearts move us to act and that our beautiful actions can be as varied as taking a bold stand, extending generosity, being creative, or simply offering the beauty of silence where it is needed.
For further inspiration you might appreciate:
Kindness – a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye
The Gift to Sing – a poem by James Weldon Johnson
Depression and Waiting – a 1-minute video by Br. David Steindl-Rast
Setting the Heart to Gratefulness – a blog by Susan Mazrolle
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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Wait, and trust, and be silent. I am in grief. And so tired of people’s words and pithy sayings. So tired of the world going on as if my world hasn’t come to a stop. So tired of smiling and saying I’m fine. So tired of managing my responsibilities as if I have the same energy and vitality as before. So tired of everyone’s expectations. So tired of the question “how are you”. It was so refreshing to hear the message that I have permission to just wait, and trust, and be silent. And cry, of course. That, I can do.
Saying a prayer quietly asking God to help me control my anger inside in front of the core group. Instead of me speaking, I asked the opinion of others. That saved my day from ruining the feelings of others. Praise God
After reading this, a feeling of such peace came over me and the “voice in the head” quieted down considerably. This is what also happened after reading practice #2 on Sunday. I say thank-you from my heart for this practice and sharing!
Love and blessings to all🕊
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We invite you to experience six blessings in this short, meditative video from Brother David: