A Good Day – with Brother David Steindl-Rast

Isn’t one of the secrets of life – to be grateful? So simple and yet so powerful. A Harvard psychologist conducted studies that demonstrated being grateful for just 3 things each day increases our happiness.  When we practice this as a habit for several weeks our brains begin to scan for the positive more than the negative.

And I think it’s even deeper than that.  Could it be that gratefulness is a cause rather than an effect? The longer I live the more I believe it to be so. The more I am grateful, the more it seems that things that appear in my life to be grateful for.

So here is a 5 minute video from Brother David Steindl-Rast to jump start your gratitude journey. Perhaps it’s his accent or the way he says it or the wisdom I hear in his voice, but his simple thoughts about the simple things to be grateful for reminds me what to look for and inspires me again to live a life that I would love.

His words are so good – I wanted to share them here as well.

You think this is just another day in your life?
It’s not just another day.
It’s the one day that is given to you today.
It’s given to you.
It’s a gift.
It’s the only gift that you have right now,
and the only appropriate response
is gratefulness.
If you do nothing else but to cultivate
that response to the great gift
that this unique day is,
if you learn to respond
as if it were the first day in your life
and the very last day,
then you will have spent this day very well.
Begin by opening your eyes and be surprised
that you have eyes you can open.
That incredible array of colors
that is constantly offered to us
for pure enjoyment.
Look at the sky.
We so rarely look at the sky.
We so rarely note how different it is
from moment to moment
with clouds coming and going.
We just think of the weather.
And even of the weather,
we don’t think of all the many nuances
of weather.
We just think of good weather and bad weather.
This day right now has unique weather,
maybe a kind that will never exactly
in that form come again.
The formation of clouds in the sky
will never be the same that it’s right now.
Open your eyes. Look at that.
Look at the faces of people whom you meet.
Each one has an incredible story
behind their face,
a story that you could never fully fathom,
not only their own story,
but the story of their ancestors.
We all go back so far.
And in this present moment, on this day,
all the people you meet,
all that life from generations
and from so many places all over the world
flows together and meets you here
like a life-giving water
if you only open your heart and drink.
Open your heart to the incredible gifts
that civilization gives to us.
You flip a switch, and there is electric light.
You turn a faucet, and there is warm water
and cold water and drinkable water.
It’s a gift that millions and millions
in the world will never experience.
So, these are just a few
of an enormous number of gifts
to which we can open your heart.
And so I wish you that you would open
your heart to all these blessings
and let them flow through you,
that everyone whom you will meet on this day
will be blessed by you,
just by your eyes,
by your smile,
by your touch,
just by your presence.
Let the gratefulness overflow
into blessing all around you.
And then it will really be a good day.

Also, here is a link to the TED Talk about the creator of this video – Louis Schwartzberg that you also might enjoy.  The portion of the video I shared in this post begins at 4:23.  But I thought you might also like to see the intro.  I love the “time lapsed” video work that he does.