“Living in Gratitude is an easy to read, practical guide to becoming more aware of the blessings we all have in our lives. Whether you choose to read it straight through or take your time over the course of a year, this book can inspire you to be more thankful of the little, medium, and big things in your life.”
What are you grateful for? Friends and family? A roof over your head? Food on the table? A good book to read? Oxygen to breathe?
Each day and every moment you have an opportunity to be grateful for something. And fostering this thankfulness in your daily life can have some pretty amazing affects on your health and wellbeing, your relationships with others, your spiritual growth, even your pocketbook.
With Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life, cultural anthropologist, teacher, and author Angeles Arrien guides you through a 12-month process for embracing, nourishing, and experiencing gratitude in your life. She pulls from perennial wisdoms, religious and philosophical teachings, beliefs, customs, and more, developing a holistic and practical approach to gratitude.
Each chapter provides a focus for the month—January through December—often using the socio-religious connotations of that month as inspiration. For example, January is “Begin Anew” for it is the first month of the year, and February is “Attend to the Heart” in honor of Valentine’s Day.
“People are often surprised at the enormous impact a consistent attention to gratitude will have on their work, health, finances and virtually every area of their lives,” Dr. Arrien says. “It facilitates learning in one’s life, nurtures the compassionate side and provides the foundation for feeling safe and secure, no matter what is going on.”
Dr. Arrien backs up much of what she says with references to research that support her concepts. She references studies on gratitude by such researchers as Robert A. Emmons and Michael E. McCollough (authors of The Psychology of Gratitude) who found that “grateful people tend to be happy people;” John Demartini (creator of the Demartini method), who found that the more people count their blessings, the more their health and wellbeing increases; and John Gottman, whose more than 20 years of research found that couples who express appreciation for each other are more likely to stay together.
Living in Gratitude provides a framework for developing a consistent, if not daily, attention to gratitude. Each month (chapter) provides the reader with a focus for the month, along with information about that particular topic. Then, each chapter provides reflections and practices to help you engage with that focus over the month. At the end of the month, each chapter provides guidance for reviewing and integrating what you have learned and experienced that month.
Living in Gratitude can easily be used as a tool for independent reflection, as well as the focal point for a group wishing to engage in gratitude practice together. Although independent contemplation can be beneficial, having an accountability partner (or group) is encouraged.
Living in Gratitude is an easy to read, practical guide to becoming more aware of the blessings we all have in our lives. Whether you choose to read it straight through or take your time over the course of a year, this book can inspire you to be more thankful of the little, medium, and big things in your life.