Living in Gratitude

Recently, I picked up the book Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life, by Angeles Arrien. Marianne Williamson, one of my favorite authors, wrote the Forward. This is a practical book designed to enable you to cultivate the practice of gratitude throughout the year.

Arrien begins her book with this often quoted pearl of wisdom by Meister Eckhart:

"If the only prayer you say in your whole life
is thank you, that would suffice."

The introduction contains such rich and wonderful material that fed my themes and comments in my classes this past week. If you wish to increase your gratefulness a thousand-fold - or even just ten times, this is the book for you. Let me end by sharing some of the wonderful insights from the Introduction to this book...

"Every language in the world has a way of saying 'thank you...'

Gratitude crosses all boundaries...

Gratitude is essentially the recognition of the unearned increments of value in one's experience...

The Latin root of the the word gratitude is grata or gratia - a given gift - and from this same root we get our word grace, which means a gift freely given that is unearned.

Gratitude is a feeling that spontaneously emerges from within. However...it is also a choice we make...

As writer Alexis de Tocqueville once described it, gratitude is 'a habit of the heart.' Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictan monk, reminds us that 'gratefulness is the inner gesture of giving meaning to our life by receiving life as gift...'

Gratitude is both a social and theological virtue...

Cicero argued that gratitude is the parent of all virtues...

Gratitude often ignites acts of generosity; we are moved to offer ourselves to others without expecting anything in return...

Blessings are the primary, cross-cultural portal through which we experience gratitude...

To bless is to sanctify; to recognize the presence of grace; to confer well-being or prosperity upon others; to endow or to invoke divine favor upon others or ourselves. Giving gratitude for our blessings is a way to recognize and honor them. John O'Donohue writes in his book, To Bless the Space Between Us, 'The word blessing evokes a sense of warmth and protection; it suggests that no life is alone or unreachable...'

Blessings are gifts that open doors to healing, connection, meaning and transformation. Essentially, the world cannot exist without blessings."

To be grateful and to bless one another is powerful - beyond even our deepest comprehension. It binds us. And unites us. Let it be so. Let us be grateful for everything, for everything is a blessing in ways seen and unseen...

Comments

For one who speaks the sentiments of my own "life" spoken in the paths of books, I thank you. Such a wonderful gift you have given.

May all that is unlived in you,
Blossom into a future
Graced with love.
~ John O'Donohue
Olga Rasmussen said…
Thank you so much for your sharing, and for that wonderful quote by John O'Donohue!

Blessings and love,
Olga

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