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

  • Begin by taking a few moments to return to yesterday’s grateful breathing exercise and to become present. 
  • From this place of presence, take a few minutes to create two side-by-side lists. In one column, name some of the sorrow and uncertainty you may be carrying right now. In the other, name what is beautiful in your life or in the world. The lists don’t need to be comprehensive…trust those first few things that emerge. As a way of cultivating perspective and opening to poignancy, take time with your completed lists to ask yourself two questions: How does each of these things awaken me to what matters most? How does each of these things invite me to greet each moment as precious? If you’d like, here’s a downloadable page you can print for this part of the practice.  
  • Choose one insight from your reflection to carry with you throughout the day as a way of saying yes to the poignancy of your life. Write it on a small piece of paper and tape it on your computer screen or tuck it in your pocket, reminding you to receive this poignancy as a gift.

We also invite you to share your reflections below.

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Enjoy the full seven-day Wake Up to Perspective practice.