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 Emily Dickinson: “To live is so startling, it leaves but little room for other occupations.

  • Let the words in the quote sit with you for a moment or two.
  • What do you notice? Become aware of any feelings, sensations, thoughts, or images that might arise.
  • Then read the question: What worries get crowded out when I awaken to the wonder of life? 

Let’s allow ourselves to wonder, to be “startled” by the fact of our living. Is not life, when we truly allow ourselves to begin to take in the magnitude of this extraordinary event, wonder-full? Just consider: we live on a tiny planet spinning through space. Gravity keeps us on our feet and in our beds at night. The oxygen we breathe is produced by billions of plants perfectly designed to transform energy from the sun (92 million miles away!), along with nutrients from the soil, into their beautiful, nourishing selves. There is so much at which to marvel. Animal life. Human animals. Our hands. Language. Feelings. Rain. The computer or mobile device you are reading this on… When we allow ourselves to be in wonder, which of our worries diminish in significance?

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.

We can so often sleep-walk through our lives, forgetting to notice and be astonished, amazed, and surprised by the vastness and the detail of it all. Everyday Gratitude, and grateful living, invite us to surrender the many, habitual preoccupations of mind that want us to control life, and in their place to savor and celebrate the wonder and mystery which abound for our enrichment.

For further inspiration you might appreciate:

Wonder – a blog by Katie Steedly Curling

A Grateful Day – 3-minute video meditation by Br. David Steindl-Rast

The Cosmic Story – Brian Swimme and Br. David Steindl-Rast on “being in touch with the cosmic reality.”

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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Enjoy the full eight-day Everyday Gratitude practice series.