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 Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go out and do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

  • 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 makes me come alive? What can I do with that?

What are the times when you feel most vivid? Energized? Engaged? What patterns emerge when you look at the times or circumstances that your unique gifts shine through? Our passionate responses to life are like a string of shining lights guiding us home to ourselves and to deeper meaning. These lights are the talents, perspectives, and gifts that long to be expressed through us and are so needed in the world. Now is the time to ask yourself: What makes me come alive? What can I do with that?

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.

To connect with our “purpose” in life, we are often guided to try to find our bliss and to follow that. But following this directive can be like chasing sunshine. We can often better know what we are “meant for” when we notice the circumstances that light us up from the inside and make us shine. Everyday Gratitude, and grateful living, help us remember and connect with what makes us come alive and to freely share the gifts of our aliveness with others.

For further inspiration you might appreciate: 

Famous – a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye

Go to the Limits of Your Longing – a poem  Rainer Maria Rilke, translation by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows

5 Steps to Finding Your Vocation – guidance from Br. David Steindl-Rast

You are Brilliant, and the Earth is Hiring – a call to love in action in a speech by Paul Hawken

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.