“Gratitude is not a passive response to something given to us, gratitude is being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us. Gratitude is not something that is shown after the event, it is the deep, a priori state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life. Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things come together and live together and mesh together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air, that the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is privilege, that we are part of something, rather than nothing. Even if that something is temporarily pain or despair, we inhabit a living world, with real faces, real voices, laughter, the color blue, the green of the fields, the freshness of a cold wind, or the tawny hue of a winter landscape. To see the full miraculous essentiality of the color blue is to be grateful with no necessity for a word of thanks. To see fully, the beauty of a daughter’s face is to be fully grateful without having to seek a God to thank him. To sit among friends and strangers, hearing many voices, strange opinions; to intuit inner lives beneath surface lives, to inhabit many worlds at once in this world, to be a someone amongst all other someones, and therefore to make a conversation without saying a word, is to deepen our sense of presence and therefore our natural sense of thankfulness that everything happens both with us and without us, that we are participants and witness all at once. Thankfulness finds its full measure in generosity of presence, both through participation and witness. We sit at the table part of every other person’s world while making our own world without will or effort, this is what is extraordinary and gifted, this is the essence of gratefulness, seeing to the heart of privilege. Thanksgiving happens when our sense of presence meets all other presences. Being unappreciative means we are simply not paying attention.”
~ David Whyte – November Thoughts 2013
“I mean, we spend over one-third of our lives actually in the workplace, and one of the loneliest things you can find is somebody who is in the wrong kind of work, who shouldn’t be doing what they are doing but should be doing something else and haven’t the courage to get up and leave it and make a new possibility for themselves. But it’s lovely when you find someone at work who’s doing exactly what they dreamed they should be doing and whose work is an expression of their inner gift. And in witnessing to that gift and in bringing it out they actually provide an incredible service to us all.”
~ John O’Donohue, the late Irish poet and philosopher
“How good to lie a little while
And look up through the tree!
The Sky is like a kind big smile
Bent sweetly over me.
The Sunshine flickers through the lace
Of leaves above my head,
And kisses me upon the face
Like Mother, before bed.
The Wind comes stealing o’er the grass
To whisper pretty things;
And though I cannot see him pass,
I feel his careful wings.
So many gentle Friends are near
Whom one can scarcely see,
A child should never feel a fear,
Wherever he may be.”
~ Abbie Farwell Brown
“It’s not enough to have lived.
We should be determined to live for something.
May I suggest that it be creating joy for others,
sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind,
bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.”
~ Leo Buscaglia
“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.’ ~ Tom Bodett
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” ~ Anais Nin
“We’re a nation hungry for more joy: Because we’re starving from a lack of gratitude.” ~ Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
Refuse to fall down.
If you cannot refuse to fall down,
refuse to stay down.
If you cannot refuse to stay down,
lift your heart toward heaven,
and like a hungry beggar,
ask that it be filled,
and it will be filled.
You may be pushed down.
You may be kept from rising.
But no one can keep you from
lifting your heart toward heaven.
~ Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés
American Author, Poet and Psychoanalyst