We all need sources of inspiration, provocation, and support to live our best lives. Writing, videos, and audio recordings nourish a commitment to living gratefully. Search here for treasures and draw freely from their gifts…
(Lion’s Roar, 2015) Upon his return from a four-year “wandering” retreat, Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Mingyur Rinpoche, shares that the main cause of happiness is gratitude and appreciation.
The earth couldn’t afford to send recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint…
“What he set in motion singlehandedly has become a worldwide groundswell of gratitude that keeps growing and growing.”
In this rich, playful, and insightful monologue, we learn that: “One doesn’t arrive at a serene and fulfilling old age that is the Crown of Life the poets talk about by simply continuing to breathe in and out…there are commitments to be made, adventures of the spirit to be undertaken. And it’s never too early to begin – or too late.”
Awe stops us in our tracks and opens us up to gratitude, and then to generosity. A new study finds that “feeling small” in the face of something much larger than ourselves – makes us more generous and more helpful.
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…
(Brain Pickings, March 2015) Maria Popova reviews “Sidewalk Flowers” which tells the wordless story of a little girl on her way home with her device-distracted father, a contemporary Little Red Riding Hood walking through the urban forest. Along the way, she collects wildflowers and leaves them as silent gifts for her fellow participants in this pulsating mystery we call life…
Research and life itself show us that the more things we have, the harder it can be to be grateful. The holidays can present a challenge as we seek to to be generous with our children AND not overwhelm their ability to feel gratitude. Here are gift ideas which offer experience, connection and engagement.
(Quartz, January 2014) “My parents simply didn’t have material things to give me so I learned to be thankful for the little we had. So by giving my kids what I never had—toys, snow boots, fashionable jeans—would they be destined to become ungrateful?” Jenn Choi explores this question and comes to some interesting conclusions.
““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”…
“What are miracles? Miracles are avocados in winter and starling swarms and the handwriting of children. They’re bridges that let trucks carrying toilet paper for thousands zip across uncrossable rivers and books that contain the voices of the dead.”
(New York Times, November 2015) Arthur C. Brooks writes, “Choosing to focus on good things makes you feel better than focusing on bad things…In addition to building our own happiness, choosing gratitude can also bring out the best in those around us.”
(Business Insider, November 2015) Faisal Hoque writes how successful entrepreneurs, authors and innovators achieve more, are happier, and make a difference, by consciously practicing gratitude.
(NPR, November 2015) “We are saturated with time. Right now, as you read these words, it’s rolling out from you. It’s filling space with your awareness of this one precious present moment. That, after all, is all the time we ever know. The past is a memory and the future an idea. But this moment, this breath, this deep sigh of relief.”
(Massage Magazine, November 2015) How might we cultivate gratefulness as a way of being rather than settling for gratitude as an intermittent way of feeling? Gratefulness surfaces whenever we remember that life itself is a precious gift that is irrefutably impermanent; this paradox allows the vulnerability and potency of gratefulness to become the lens through which we experience the fullness of our lives.
“To know better what regions [in the brain might be responsible for gratitude] is a really great first step toward understanding how we can advance and promote gratitude in the world,” says researcher, Glenn Fox
(On Being, September 2015) In this season of political madness, I’m grateful to have a “charm” against the language of politics, writes Parker J. Palmer…
(Yes! Magazine, August 2015) A new study shows that meditation can transform racial bias at any age.
(Greater Good Science Center, September 2015) One of the best ways to increase our own happiness is to do things that make other people happy. In countless studies, kindness and generosity have been linked to greater life satisfaction, stronger relationships, and better mental and physical health—generous people even live longer…
(CBS News, September 2015) Open arms await the Pope in the United States and 80,000 have vowed to follow in his footsteps, with acts of kindness. It’s called the “Walk With Francis Pledge.”
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