cover image Wake Up Grateful: The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted

Wake Up Grateful: The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted

Kristi Nelson. Storey, $26.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-63586-244-7

Nelson (Everyday Gratitude), executive director of the online community A Network for Grateful Living, shares the teachings of the network’s founder, David Steindl-Rast, in this thorough guide intended to transform one’s life through the practice of gratefulness. Gratefulness, according to Nelson, is a “way of being that helps us to focus our attention and navigate our lives with gratitude as our compass.” After explaining the foundational principles—life is a gift, everything is surprise, the ordinary is extraordinary, appreciation is generative, and love is transformative—and practices of gratefulness (such as the “stop, look, go” strategy for “acquiring perspective through experience and intention”), Nelson applies them to different concerns and themes, such as the body, emotions, nature, and loss. For instance, she urges readers to “seek a perspective of wonder and reverence” through attentive observation of nature and by listing one’s habits and choices that are ecologically harmful. One of the book’s strongest features is Nelson’s account of surviving stage IV cancer when she was 33. (“Surviving cancer taught me to notice all that is available here and now,” she writes.) Though the premise is stretched thin and the advice gets repetitive, Nelson manages to pack in plenty of inspirational material. Those interested in mindfulness-based spirituality will appreciate Nelson’s message of flourishing amid uncertainty. (Nov.)