Welcome to day two 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.
“We cannot fool the heart — it knows that love, loss, and longing come from the same source.
This awareness is the wide-open doorway to poignancy and treasuring life as a gift.”
~ Kristi Nelson, Wake Up Grateful
Today’s practice is an invitation to embrace the poignancy of our current lives: the loves and the losses, the known and the uncertain. When someone says something is poignant, we might think they are implying that it is overly sad. But poignant is actually a state of being deeply touched. Poignancy arises when we bring gratefulness for the gift of life into the same space as our sorrow. It is a rich and provocative invitation to embrace paradox; we know poignancy whenever we hold love in the same space as we hold awareness of impermanence. Poignancy cracks our hearts open and makes us want to treasure what is available for us to love, right now.
Photo: Emmi Nummela/Unsplash
We also invite you to share your reflections below.
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6:07 pm on August 4, life changed for thousands in an instant…the time of the Beirut Port explosion. The stories of those who survived and those who didn’t are actually the same story…chance. The inspiration I feel for all of those who came to help, and are still helping, expands my heart. They are points of light, connecting to one another to create a shield of positivity over Beirut and Lebanon. The current situation in Lebanon is dire, political and economic ruin in the midst of a pandemic. I hold the intention that the Lebanese learn from their past to create a new future based on compassion, dignity, equanimity, forgiveness, gratitude, humilty, integrity, justice, kindness, and love. (Thanks to Dr. James Doty for the alphabet of the heart.)
I was married many years ago and to my dismay and shock after 18 years of marriage, it was over. I didn’t see it coming. It was very difficult letting go of the dreams and expectations and practicing forgiveness. And yet, the ending of the marriage I now see as one of the greatest gifts I received. It allowed me the freedom to heal, grow and follow what was true for me. And I truly believe our children are healthier than they would have been if we had stayed together.
How wonderful that you have been to find the gift in sorrow and adversity and turned it into a positive.
Thank you Monica! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
This Day 2 of the Practice happened to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the death of my deeply loved brother and his wife, who were killed in a tragic accident through no fault of their own. (In broad daylight a driver who had been up all night fell asleep at the wheel of his car, crossed the road and hit them both from the back as they were walking) The concept of poignancy is deeply felt, especially at this time for me and my family. That loss (and this exercise) invites and reminds me not to take for granted people, life, breath, the earth, relationships, moments. It invites me to pause, to appreciate, and then to act in accordance with what is awakened (or reawakened) in me. Thank you dear Kristi, for your presence.
That’s what I realized, accidents happen in seconds, changing the whole trajectory of one’s life. So much to learn, appreciating the simple things in your life… I am so sorry for your loss.
So true, so true. It definitely woke me up to the importance of appreciating every moment on a whole new level. Thank you dear Monica for your kind words, and blessings into your day.
This exercise remind me that the connexion with people around me is so important and precious ❤️
Love to read each of your shares.
In the lack of health and certainty support, care, and the help of people around give hope and encouragement to keep walking the path.
Continue to find the hope surrounding you.
While I feel breath-catching despair for my husband’s cancer and our keenly fierce vulnerability, I am deeply present to the gift of sharing these 41 years of life with this beautiful, sweet, supportive (and sometimes infuriating 🙂 man. And I am also so aware of the gift of the children we were blessed to bring into this world (with each are found a combination of poignant and profound joy, gratitude, and occasional heartbreak.)
I can’t imagine what you and your husband are going through, but I am gateful that you are able to find the blessings you have received. I pray that you have the strength for what is ahead.
My thoughts are with both of you
What matters is that people are loving and dying and hurting and longing (the raging storm of Covid, the indignity for refugees and people of color) but what matters now is that there is HOPE for the future.
A friend told me once that we cry because we love so much and we have known love. And this makes life precious. All of our pain and grief and loss are wrapped in love. I know this does not ring true when someone’s experience is the pain of abuse or indignity of so many sorts; when Mother Earth is scourged by our indifference. And then I pray, Holy Love, help us find our way back to you.
I hold the same hope as you do. Will the message that COVID delivered be listened to? We have a chance to change our ways, I join in your prayer that we find our way back to Mother Earth.
Insight: Understanding gives birth to Compassion.
Thanks to Kristie for your sweet practice.
Poignancy touches us as we hold Love & Loss at the same time,
as we value & cherish people & parts of our lives still knowing that everything changes, transforms, dissolves. Helpful to identify that paradox which doesn’t need solving. Both sides are True & Real and touch our hearts. Thank you for this teaching & practice.
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