Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life

Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life by Angeles Arrien.  Sounds True: 2011.

If you are a follower of my blog, you already have an idea how much I have enjoyed reading this book.

This book is set up to be read a chapter a month, giving you a complete year of exercises and questions to work with to help you live a life of gratitude. While the book is set up by month, you don’t necessarily have to wait for next January to roll around to start working with this book.  You can either start with the current month, or you may possibly want to start with January since its chapter is titled “Begin Anew”.  You could then move on to your current month.  Whatever you decide, you can start at any time.

The topics in this book are as follows:

January: Begin Anew
February: Attend to the Heart
March: Compassionate Service
April: Mercy and Atonement
May: The Gift of Grace
June: The Power of Equanimity
July: Embracing Nature
August: Cultivating Peace
September: Opening to Guidance and Wisdom
October: Letting Be and Letting Go
November: Grateful Seeing
December: The Mystic Heart

Epilogue: Living in Gratitude – Where We Have Been and How We Can Continue

For those living in the southern hemisphere, you may also want to switch things up so your exercises in Embracing Nature are done during your own summer instead of your winter.

Each of the monthly chapters are broken down into sections.  Each one begins with a prayer, and the author uses prayers from several different traditions. The chapter then explains the topic, and breaks it down into plain and simple concepts.  The author never speaks over the readers head and keeps a very conversational tone and style.

The chapters include Reflections (these are questions for you to answer and work with ), Practices, (different exercises to work on over the month), Review and Integration, (where you take a look at gratitude in the 4 quadrants of life) Blessings, Learnings, Mercies, and Protections, (in which you work with some more reflections) and then end with Internal Questions and External Questions.

I would highly recommend keeping a journal to answer the presented questions, and to write about your reflections and practices as you complete them.  With the Reflections  and Practices sections, the author suggests you pick two of each to work on.  By doing this you can use this book for years, making different choices each year. Or you can choose to do more each month.

So many of the quotes in this book hit home for me in an extremely positive way. After just making several changes in my own life, I found this book to be a wonderful sign to show me I am now on the right path for me.

If you are looking for a change, or even if you aren’t really looking, this book can help give you a new life, or at the very least enhance the one you are living. 

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