Focus on What Makes You Feel Alive, Grateful and in Wonder

“He who kisses joy as it flies by will live in eternity's sunrise.”~William Blake | Find creative, simple & inspiring practices for living gratefully. Gratitude helps experience joy, deepen love, hold pain and grief with compassion, and strengthen generosity and respect for all life.

What if you discovered that living with awareness and intention, focusing on what makes you feel alive, grateful and in wonder, allows you to: live longer, inspire others, experience joy, hold pain and grief with compassion, and deepen love, generosity and respect for all life?

Grateful Living is way of life that does all of the above and, in so doing, contributes to a peaceful, thriving, and sustainable world – held as sacred by all.

Practices to Cultivate A Grateful Day

1. Take a moment each day this week to notice the sky—the changing clouds and colors. Try saying thank you aloud to the sky and its varied elements. How does this change your experience of the moment?

2. Each day commit to looking directly into the face of another and simply smile without words. What happens? What does it feel like to show appreciation for someone? What do you feel in your body? In your heart?

3. Experiment with using only a flashlight to move through the darkness of a day/evening to truly embed appreciation for the gift of light. Consider all those who went before to make electric and battery light possible and bring to mind the millions of people around the world who don’t yet have access to electric light. How does this reflection impact you? How might you honor this gift?

4. Write down something at the end of the day that describes how you left the day better than you found it. Take in the positive impact that you do and can have on our world.

5. Go for a walk and notice any natural and human-made wonders that give you a sense of “awe.”  What is the impact?

6. Commit one month a year to begin each day with a grateful living practice that, no matter what, you will step into with an open heart.

Questions for Reflection or Conversation:

1. What are you grateful for in your life right now? Why?

2. What array of colors are visible to you in this moment? How might they inspire you?

3. How can you live a grateful life in the face of pain and suffering?

4. Consider a difficult situation and the impact it had on you. Can you identify an aspect of the situation (or impact) that you can feel grateful about?

5. Why focus on each and every day being a gift? How does that help us live a more grateful life?

6. Who are people you know who live a grateful life? How are their lives different than yours?

7. Close your eyes, imagine a world where EVERYONE lives a more grateful life. Describe this world and how you fit in.

8. Imagine you are on your deathbed. What are you grateful for in that moment? Are there things that you would like to change in your life now so that you can truly be grateful for a life well-lived when death comes?

Thank you for opening your eyes and heart to truly having, and contributing to, a grateful day and a grateful world!

~Excerpt of an article by the Grateful Living Network,

Living Gratefully Every Day

wake up grateful kristi nelson | paradise found santa barbara

What does it mean to truly live gratefully, every day? In Wake Up Grateful, Kristi Nelson, executive director of Grateful Living, unlocks the path to recognizing abundance in every moment, and gives readers the tools to bring this transformational shift in perspective into their daily lives.

Nelson was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer when she was only 33 years old. For the past 27 years, she has walked through life with an ever-deepening practice of Grateful Living. In her book Wake Up Grateful, Kristi offers inspiration, meditations, and practices for how to live gratefully in the world.

Nelson goes beyond the proverbial question of whether the glass is half full or half empty, and encourages readers to awaken to the gift of having a glass at all. With tailored questions for reflection, daily exercises, and perspective prompts for appreciating the fullness of life as it is right now, this book promises profound personal change through the practice of taking nothing for granted.

And on that note...Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!
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