Welcome to day three 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.
“My sorrow and longing connect me to everyone, everywhere — and them to me.”
~ Kristi Nelson, Wake Up Grateful
Today’s practice is an invitation to cultivate peak awareness as a way of expanding our perspective. If you consider your life thus far, chances are it’s not hard to bring to mind some of the peak experiences of your journey, those that have engulfed all your senses and offered an experience of awe. They may have been joyful, light, sorrowful, mysterious, or deeply tender: holding a newborn, dancing in a crowd to your favorite band, being present to someone dying, standing on a mountaintop, or simply being with a person you love regardless of the circumstance. In these peak moments, there’s the potential for something in us to come more fully alive, to glimpse a sense of life’s mystery, to see the arc of our lives from a new vantage point. These are extraordinary gifts that offer insights we can, in turn, cultivate and carry into our daily lives.
We also invite you to share your reflections below.
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The peak experience I am remembering now is when my granddaughter came to spend the night. She came into my room in the early morning. She fell back asleep and I laid there with her, my dog and the day breaking…..as I looked out the window, I could see the leaves on one of my trees just beginning to turn. Her sweet breathing along with the dogs, as I laid there looking out the window was the moment that I remembered as a peak experience. What I saw clearly was the beauty of the present moment. Here it is. This. This moment is it. This precious moment fully embraced….more than enough. I felt my heart full and a deep contentment.
Moments spent with loved ones in nature expands my heart inviting me to enter into an experience of expansion – looking at possibilities in the moment.
Visit to a Chilean Willow Park…..majestic and humble together.
appreciated ,and enjoyed nature to the fullest. Since then I love Willows. And , nowadays I live on a St…Willow Pond. What a treat!!!
They are no willows, but they live in mind all the time.
I feel , sometimes, to bathe myself with nature…it is uplifting and calming.
It was so fast… my dad called me and said: please, hurry! I’m taking the mom to the hospital.
This event happened during the morning. Long time waiting for news… I was seat in the reception. Early in the morning the doctor asked for me and told: your mother had a heart attack and it is so serious. She will be hospitalized in the intensive care unit.
I asked: Can I see her? And the doctor answered: just for 5 minutes.
I deep breath and entered. I looked her face, completely pale whitout vitality. I held her hands, we prayed and left my rosary with her.
After 3 days she went straight home after her hospital discharge.
My mom is our pillar in faith and hope. I’m very scared in the same time I’m very grateful for her life. I can feel the love and I can see the beauty in the face of so much uncertainty and pain.
When I first experienced the art work of Doris McCarthy I was so overwhelmed that I sat and cried. She is a Canadian landscape painter – her iceberg paintings are ethereal, the colours muted greens, blues, whites. I felt invited to peace – what somehow opened my heart to tears was the depiction of the icebergs – she included all the mass and shapes of ice under the ocean all of it semi opaque. I think I was struck by the layers of unknown in our understanding – so often we are limited by what we see on the surface. Can we see through, can we see below, or what supports the essence?
My father is dying of a professional cancer.
Sorrow, tenderness, suggest me how important our life together has been. Fear, to face this event. He was like a pillar for everyone, and now my sons take him to the bathroom.
But here there is Love, my husband, my sons, my sisters, brothers in law, relatives, and friends, oh how many friends, surrounding me, my hearth expands and is warmly enlightened. The power of Love and life, it exists here and now.
Whilst in. A garden in Japan, I appreciated beauty and serenity of such magnitude it was almost overwhelming. I didn’t hear others, but felt the breeze, saw the light, saw the balance within the enormous crated scene and felt such gratitude at every level, from the breath to the universe. After a magic incident, I closed down senses to a survival, one foot in front of the other survival state. My thoughts were of despair in the present, so closed. I still had food, shelter, clothing, people who loved me, but the depth of my sorrow was deep.
Year’s later, I am grateful for experiencing tragedy, for the understanding and balance it has provided. My empathy was ignited.
Gratitude provides a perspective of faith for me, that the bad won’t last forever and n matter what, as we were reminded on day 1, each breath is a precious gift.
Standing silent in a grove of sequoia trees … feeling a profound sense of grandeur and divine presence surrounding me and infusing me with joy and wonder at the sheer beauty of creation.
I once had an experience in which it was revealed to “me” that Love is the Essence of the Universe and that all else is illusion. That’s about as close as I can come to describing it. It was an experience of utter peace, one-ness, and joy. I feel as if I “tasted” Reality. I can recall the beautiful images and sensations of this experience and feel comforted and peace in the presence of uncertainty and impermanence. It’s like a guiding star, along with the practices of kindness and compassion, that I can always rely on to get through.
Thanks again to gratefulness.org, Br.David, and Kristi for your presence and practice. (B0wing)
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