At the beginning of the new year, I began an informal “study” of gratefulness. My experience with illness and recuperation this past summer has left me with extreme gratefulness for life and living. Each morning, I wake up and say, “Good morning, Lord; thank you for another day.” The mug for my first cup of coffee says, “Renew/Restore/Refresh,” so I repeat the little mantra I’ve made up: ” ‘Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me;’ Restore me to health, please; and refresh my mind to where it can handle anything that might come my way today.” Then, I am ready to start my day. I believe I read in something by Brene Brown that Happiness does not cause gratitude, but gratitude causes happiness.
Deb Nance, a blogging friend at Readerbuzz, sent me a whole list of books about gratitude available at our local library that she discovered in her recent study of happiness. Here is the first book from that list that I have read in 2022.
Nelson does not allow her reader to wistfully think, “I’ll be grateful when…,” but encourages her to be in the moment and grateful for what she already has. It is a “touching, powerful, real” read because she shares her own story as a survivor of Stage IV cancer. During her search for recovery, she met a Benedictine monk, Brother David Steindl-Rast who helped found the Network for Grateful Living. This book articulates his teachings, which the author has put into practice in her daily life. Subtitled “The Transforming Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted, this book is full of inspiring quotes, which I often copied into my Quotes Notebook. I also began a gratitude journal during the time I read Wake Up.
Nelson tells the reader, “Grateful living offers a path and a promise” and explains both. The book is full of practical guidelines and specific practices for the reader to carry out. These practices are: Stop. Look. Go, and each is given for every section of the book. I was spurred to put these practices into action and to continue doing so for some time now.
To call Wake Up a self-help or self-improvement book is an understatement. it is a narrative by Nelson of her journey to a more positive, happy life, plus ways the reader can obtain this for herself.
I highly recommend this book.