The Grateful Life: A Book About Gratitude

grat·i·tude

ˈɡradəˌt(y)o͞od/
noun
the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Gratitude is trending. In less than a second I can find nearly 400,000 hits for #gratitude on Google. Twitter is alive with posts about gratitude, everything from people’s 5 Things A Day, ways to teach our kids gratitude, and celebrities like Oprah reminding us to “never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.”

It’s everywhere. How could we miss it? How could we not feel it around us, a never ending reminder that life is good and we should be grateful?

On Facebook we’re grateful for leaves changing color, for veterans and our loving husbands. Some folks are grateful for their ‘amazing’ main course or dessert, for their adorable kids and dogs, and for…gratitude itself. For the awareness, finally, that life is worth shouting out about.

If you’re inspired by stories of gratitude – stories by REAL people experiencing the transformative power of gratitude – you should put The Grateful Life: The Secret to Happiness and the Science of Contentment on your reading list. Written by Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons (I reviewed their last book, What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail), The Grateful Life offers tips and inspirational stories from people just like you and me who have experienced the benefits of living mindfully and with an awareness of the blessings in our lives.

Each of the ten chapters offers several short vignettes accompanied by sidebar tidbits, all centered around a theme. The book starts with Chapter One’s “How Gratitude and Intentional Behavior Move to Our Hearts, Creating Blessings in Our Lives” and sidebars “The Network for Grateful Living” and “Gratitude Prayer”, and ends with Chapter Ten’s theme of “The Secret to a Gratitude Makeover: How to Create Gratitude Practices That Stick” and sidebars about Jimmy Fallon’s Thank You Lessons, Writing Thank You Cards, and tips about how to bring more gratitude into your life.

I’ve experienced the power of gratitude first hand, as have millions of people. When my son was faced with a broken leg last summer and saw his ski racing dreams severely compromised, we got through the hardest hours by rattling off three gratitudes – and we made it. Life will always get better, but sometimes we need to take a little pause and give ourselves time and permission to remember that.

The Grateful Life: The Secret to Happiness and the Science of Contentment can offer just that – a reminder that in sharing our stories of the benefits of gratitude as told by people just like us, we can begin to live a life of more contentment, gratefulness and transformation.

To read more about the book, visit their website: http://www.vivaeditions.com/book_page.php?book_id=85.

p.s. – did you read my previous posts about gratitude? Deep Gratitude,  Thanks, Coach, For the Life Lessons, and Broken?

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail? – book review and giveaway

What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not FailWhat Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail? 

It’s quite a question, isn’t it? More like being ‘called out’, forcing us to walk our talk, show what we’re really all about.

I love the images that come to mind, and when I read the book by the same title by Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons, I fell into an instant pool of understanding. It just clicked with me.

Inspired by memories of childhood literary heroes such as Nancy Drew, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Jo from Little Women, Nina and Mary Beth set out to create a collection of modern day heroes-men and women who courageous embodied real-life examples of grit and tenacity in the face of tough times.

Part daily motivational, part narrative, the collection of stories in What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?: How to Transform Fear Into Courage offers short yet powerful glimpses into lives of men and women who don’t necessarily make the front pages of news websites, nor do they trend on social media. Rather, these heroes and heroines humbly share their stories ranging from community organizers, care givers, athletes,  immigrants, military service people, Holocaust survivors and teenagers chasing their dreams. Their common thread? They are ordinary people, who, in the face of adversity, dig deep and achieve more than they ever knew they could.

Sounds like a great read, doesn’t it?

I particularly enjoyed the organization of What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?. Divided into ten chapters, each provides a thematic approach to differing aspects of courage. Each chapter then provides a ‘sidebar’ with inspirational quotes and tips on how to act courageously in our lives, ideas like “10 Courage Rituals”, “Getting Help With Identifying the Source of Your Fears”, “A Checklist to Jump-Start Your Reinvention”, and “Five Tips for Putting Your Passions Out There” offer easy to read, easy to apply strategies that make the reader feel like they, too, can become a more courageous person.

One story that particularly moved me was “Downhill all the way: the courage to become an Olympian” about Foreste Peterson, a local alpine ski racer with aspirations for the Olympics. I’ve written before about my life as a ski racing mother, and how committed my children are to the sport of ski racing, so when I realized that Foreste’s story so mirrors my own children’s aspirations, I wiped away the tears and handed the book to my 17-year-old daughter. Foreste’s words of wisdom? “Show up prepared to brave all aspects of life.”

This decade of my forties has pushed me in ways I never imagined. Mothering, teaching, writing, and developing my voice has simultaneously created both a precarious sense of fear alongside an ever strengthening sense of courage. As my children grow up and away from home, I feel an impending urgency to not only name my fears, but also to conquer them. What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail? couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time.

If you’d like to win your own copy of What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail? , please enter my Rafflecopter giveaway. Entries will close March 28, so don’t wait another minute-this book could change your life.

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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