Emotions and thoughts come and go like the weather. In the midst of life, we experience feelings on the spectrum from desirable to undesirable, and from easy to challenging, most very day. Abundant research has shown that mental health is every bit as vital to wellbeing as physical health, and yet our emotional struggles can make us feel isolated and/or ashamed. These “secondary” feelings only compound our challenges. Our longings for contentment and happiness can feel overwhelming, especially if we have no roadmap. Yes, in so many ways, we have far more agency than we know or use.
Grateful Living can help us reorient to our mind – to become more accepting, compassionate and curious about our thoughts and feelings. And we can work with habits of the mind, as opposed to against them; learning with awareness from all of our moment-to-moment thoughts and feelings. Cultivating gratitude can bring about this sort of shift in perspective. As Br David says, “It is not happiness that makes us grateful; it is gratefulness that makes us happy.”
Try a Sample Practice: Healing Hard Feelings
We spend so much of our time sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting…
(On Being, February 2016) Brain surgeon James Doty is on the cutting edge of our knowledge of the brain and the heart: how they talk to each other; what compassion means in the body and in action; and how we can reshape our lives and perhaps our species through the scientific and human understanding we are now gaining.
Imagine training female prison inmates in stand-up comedy. How would this heal them or bring feelings of gratitude to light? To learn more, check out this short film from the Gratitude Revealed Project.
(September, 2012) Richard Leider, best-selling author and executive coach advisor, shares how a moment with his mother taught him more about purpose than years of research and training. “What I learned is that everybody at the end of their lives wants a thank you…”
A lot of so-called “positive psychology” can seem a bit flaky, especially if you’re the sort of person disinclined to respond well to an admonition to “look on the bright side.” But positive psychologists have published some interesting findings, and one of the more robust ones is that feeling grateful is very good for you. Now a brain-scanning study in NeuroImage brings us a little closer to understanding why these exercises have these effects…
There’s no doubt that the idea of “letting go” — the advice to “let it go” — has become more popular in recent years. Especially in light of the popularization of meditation and mindfulness, it seems people are starting to see that there is a profound power in the act of surrender.
I want to write of the light
but I do not know
whether words can illuminate
the way it hangs
upon branches and bird wings…
(November, 2015) Each of us carries within the gift of infinite worth. Find out what that means for us to walk in relationship with others with a new sense of interconnectedness.
““Happiness” is not an emotion, an inherited disposition that is awarded to a select few, or even dependent on events that happen to you in life. Rather, Murthy argues that happiness is a perspective, and that everyone can create it for themselves with four simple, free approaches: gratitude exercises, meditation, physical activity and social connectedness”…
Nov. 26, 2015 Kristi Nelson, cancer survivor and executive director of A Network for Grateful Living, speaks to Jim Skinner of “Stories with a Purpose” about her cancer journey, being mindful, and the power of grateful living.
(July, 2011) Actor Thandie Newton tells the story of finding her “otherness” — first, as a child growing up in two distinct cultures, and then as an actor playing with many different selves. A warm, wise talk for which we are grateful.
Willing to experience aloneness, I discover connection everywhere; Turning to face my fear, I meet…
Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve…
Where is your ghost this Halloween? Others float along the street, ringing doorbells, trick or…
Sometimes the mist overhangs my path, And blackening clouds about me cling; But, oh, I…
(January 2015) Filmmakers, Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman, made “Just Breathe” with their son, his classmates and their family members one Saturday afternoon. The film is entirely unscripted – what the kids say is based purely on their own neuro-scientific understanding of difficult emotions, and how they cope through breathing and meditation. They, in turn, are teaching us all …
(August, 2015) Jonathan Foust presents a unique method for tapping our deepest wisdom through the body — combining mindfulness meditation, focusing, and intuitive inquiry.
(New York Times, July 2015) “A few weeks ago, in the country, far from the lights of the city, I saw the entire sky “powdered with stars” (in Milton’s words); such a sky, I imagined, could be seen only on high, dry plateaus like that of Atacama in Chile… It was this celestial splendor that suddenly made me realize how little time, how little life, I had left. My sense of the heavens’ beauty, of eternity, was inseparably mixed for me with a sense of transience — and death.”
This site (which is in essence a digital book) was created for those who struggle internally. Author Kent Hoffman writes that a shift can occur from: “I think I’m alone in this pain,” to “Others feel this way,” to “My suffering makes sense and I have new options I didn’t quite recognize before.”
Abundant research has shown that mental health is every bit as vital to wellbeing as physical health, and yet our emotional struggles can make us feel isolated and/or ashamed. These “secondary” feelings only compound our challenges. Our longings for contentment and happiness can feel overwhelming, especially if we have no roadmap. The following is a list of books — “roadmaps,” if you like, which we have found enlightening, affirming, or helpful, and for which we are grateful.
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