Welcome to day one of Wake Up to Perspective, our seven-day practice that explores cultivating perspective as a way to live gratefully through this deeply uncertain time. This practice emerges from Kristi Nelson’s forthcoming book Wake Up Grateful: The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted. No matter how you are at this moment — with whatever heart mix of joy and struggle — we’re so glad you’re here. Thank you for joining us on this journey.
“Learning to embrace the expanse of the present moment is the only true way to live a conscious life…
Perspective helps us to remember that beauty and heartache coexist, as do grief and gratitude, joy and sadness.
The dividends of perspective are reaped long term, arriving when our gratefulness accounts are near empty.”
~ Kristi Nelson, Wake Up Grateful
While each person’s life contains a unique mix of both struggle and ease, there’s no denying the shared grief and loss of the current global pandemic and widespread political and social strife. We are all living with uncertainty in this challenging time. In her book, Kristi writes, “When our ‘now’ is disconcerting, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of perseverating about the past and worrying about the future. A simple spaciousness of presence can be disarming in its quiet grace and invitations.” Opening to this spaciousness of presence — this disarming — is the bedrock of the week’s practice and allows us to cultivate perspective. Our first step is the sacred act of pausing and being with our lives just as they are.
Photo: Adam Hamel/Unsplash
Throughout the practice there will be invitations for written reflection so you may want to have a favorite notebook or journal at hand. We also invite you to share your reflections below.
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Pausing for stillness I am aware of… Flow – In – Pause – Out – Pause – Flow . Beloved Wisdom may I more consciously live in this pulsating awareness of Flow – In – Pause – Out – Pause – Flow.
Clinging, resisting is a form of holding onto my breath so that it becomes a strangle hold on my heart, a claustrophobic act of anguish. Whereas, Flow – In – Pause – Out – Pause – Flow this gift of breathing this Flow is Your Sacred Gift of Life to me.. Trusting in this exquisite gift allows me to accept Your invitation to participate fully and freely in the dance of life, the movement of Grace, Mercy, Kindness… Thank you Abba God for this precious gift this breath of life, the invitation to freely flow. Flow – In – Pause – Out- Pause – Flow…. Amen
Pausing for stillness I am aware that my right shoulder is tight. I am aware that I hold tension in my neck and shoulders often. Pausing for stillness I am aware that as I stay and breathe my shoulder relaxes and I am reminded to come back to this moment and just breathe. I am reminded there is no place to go, nothing to do, just to stop and be here right this moment………Pausing for stillness I am aware that the sun has come up and the day has started…….I am aware of the quiet.
Pausing for stillness, I am aware, for the first time, that there is a place where my heartbeat and breath meet. An inner engine of life and strength that is with me always. This simple thing gives me hope and confidence. Thank you, Kristi.
I am grateful for this technology that unites us. I am grateful for the posts we share. I am grateful for this grounded perspective and it’s simplicity in a time when so much fear is circulating.
I’m late in replying because I was without my computer this weekend, quite a change for me! In this way it allowed me to pause for stillness. Pausing for stillness, I am aware of the way the clouds change when lit by the rising sun, every few seconds, changing gradually and quickly at the same time. You have to keep watching to enjoy the show. How many times do we look and say “Beautiful sunrise!” and then look away and get busy. It is really worth it to continue watching!
It’s pretty impossible for me to “pause for stillness” when I seem to be having these major panic/anxiety attacks when I can’t figure out something dealing with technology. I won’t go into all the difficulties I faced in the last hour that led me to uncontrollable tears. I could not figure out any way to add my journal writing/comments where I could see everyone else’s comments. And then suddenly my name appears on the left margin, and allows me to type to the right of it.
Tuesday’s WORD FOR THE DAY was
We become what we think about. During this time of social isolation, I have been keeping a journal with what I consider to be particularly relevant “Word for the day” quotations, and just write about what comes to my mind when I think about them. Gratefulness.org has been such a big part of my life in the last several years. We are always becoming closer to who we want to be. Gratefulness.org helps me to be more kind and gentle with myself, & hopefully to others and it’s nice to know they’re there for us all. And thank you all for being my community this week.
I feel your frustration! How insightful you were able to connect with the word for the day. “We become what we think about.”
Peace to you, have a lovely week.
Pausing for stillness, I am aware of the calm before the busy-ness that today will bring, and I notice that I am grateful for this moment, this time, this space, this freedom, I guess.
Pausing for stillness, I am reminded that I am so much more than life at the surface level of myself and that there is a whole other depth to my being, a wellspring of the infinite Life of Love.
And all of this awareness from just a few breaths! Thank you.
Pausing for stillness, I am aware … that my wife of 41 years is making dinner for our daughter and me.
And not just heating up some food. No, no, no this is a labor of healthy-eating love!
Whole food, plant-based creations that not only fill our stomachs, but heal our bodies and nurture our souls.
Thank you, My Dearest, for bringing your many creative talents to make us such feasts for the eyes, for the nose, for the mouth, and yes, for our very being.
Pausing for stillness, I am aware of my heart, my breath, my bones, my flesh, my organs, my muscles, my body in space. I am aware of coquis, and I am aware of my day.
Pausing for stillness I am aware of how emotional I am feeling. I am a bundle of mixed up emotions. Dread, hopefulness, impatience, expectations for better things..grateful..sad… just so many feelings rolling around in me.
Pausing for stillness, I am aware of how quiet it is all around me and how I so need this quiet, this stillness now, at this very difficult & challenging time in my life.
Kristi, your video was so comforting, soothing & peaceful. Thank you kindly. 🙏
Pausing for stillness I am aware…
Of the clock ticking
Cold night air, beautiful crescent moon and stars
Duffy, my furry companion, sleeping in his bed beside me
The presence of my dear brother. In spirit, in memory. 25 years gone tomorrow.
The cushion beneath my butt.
The love that surrounds me.
Dinner in the oven.
Thank you dear Kristi for sharing your light with all of us. I am grateful to be present in this space with all of you.
Pausing for stillness I’m aware about the fear.
Pausing for sttilness during a rainy moment, in fact a storm.
I was safe in my home. I could notice another point of view in a situation that always made me fell scared. I could appreciated the feelings in my body.
And I’m grateful for this moment, here, breathing. No asking to stop the rain because I’m scare, but I’m here and breathing despide of fear.
I’m grateful for this experience.
With fraternal love, Cintia.
Hello sister, long not heard! What you shared just now is just the same with me. As I paused, I became aware of the storm of old fears and even some old anger and out of this, self-made limitations. through still having been attached to it. I am deeply grateful for this experience, too. And thank you so much for sharing, dear friend.
Pausing to breathe – to take in precious air to give energy to my body – placing my hands over my heart to feel the intake and outflow of breath. A blessing.
Grateful to pause, to breath connecting to my inner self and the reminder of our universal link to nature and each other. There are days like today that my mind is full of anxious thoughts and stopping to breath, look inward and then outward gives me a fresh perspective. One that is centered on what is genuine/real/tangible and not focused on the “What ifs”. Thank you!
For those of you setting that timer you may enjoy the free “Mindfulness Bell” App. I starting using it a few weeks ago. I set the bell to ring randomly throughout my day reminding me to pause, to breath, to be present.
Pausing for stillness, I am aware…
that I’m full of things so that there is not so much space to breathe fully
that I want rest
that I there is no need to rush, I have everything
My body need more time to stay still
When I am still and feel breathing, it’s as if the Infinite is eyedroppering me food—that I am a baby bird mouth open, yearning and desperate, and It is all right there in my breathing
Pausing for stillness, I am aware of the sound of ticking clock, of neighbor down the street blowing leaves, a blue jay’s call, a passing car, and the sound of my breath as I exhale. The stillness within comforts me. I rest here for awhile and am held by the notion that when I breathe all humanity, all creation breathes with me. We are one, connected by this simple act. We support each other when we come to know this gift we share. May my breathing this day with ease lift one person who today struggles to breathe.
Pausing for stillness, I am aware that my living room is cluttered and so is my mind.
Pausing for stillness, I am aware of the choice I have to be present to my breath, to this moment.
Write an entry in your private gratefulness journal
When after heavy rain the storm clouds disperse, is it not that they’ve wept themselves…
What if you discovered that living with awareness and intention, focusing on what makes you…
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