Changing Nature of our Experience

Family activity: One difficult thing, one good thing

Life isn’t just one way: it’s many things all at once. One moment, we’re feeling good; another moment we’re feeling anxious. It’s helpful to acknowledge the grit and gratitude of our day. As a family, you can share one difficult thing from your day and one good thing. Mealtime seems a natural place for this sharing, but you’ll know what’s best for your kids. Give them space to share one “thumbs down” and one “thumbs up.” This is a great time to practice with your children. Include yourself in the sharing. It’s also a great place to practice mindful listening. Sometimes the difficult things from our day don’t need to be fixed or solved, they just need to be listened to and acknowledged.

Adult practice: Moving Toward Discomfort + Finding Ease

It’s human nature to resist pain, both physical and emotional. Yet it’s helpful—in small, doable ways—to move toward discomfort with curiosity and kindness. This isn’t a “tough it out” practice, it’s a practice in awareness and care. Sometimes the discomfort is too much and moving toward it isn’t the skillful path. In these situations, we can practice finding ease within our bodies.

Sit comfortably in a chair or on a floor cushion. Let your posture be upright yet relaxed. We’re looking for attention with ease; not too tight and not too loose. You can close your eyes—to remove visual distractions—or you can leave your eyes open, with a soft gaze downward. Choose one of these short practices:

Gratitude, grit, and grace

Gratitude practice helps us notice the positive. Research shows that gratitude practice is consistently and positively associated with happiness. You’ve already read (or will read) about the benefits of gratitude journaling. If you’re interested, you can extend your writing practice to include gratitude, grit, and grace. Gratitude is a way of taking in the good. Grit is a way of acknowledging, honoring, and opening to the difficult parts of life. Grace is a way to connect with the mystery; to notice ordinary yet extraordinary ways we're cared for, seen, heard, and connected. (Perhaps witnessing a moment of grace or experiencing it directly.) The addition of grit and grace can be a small add-on to your intentional gratitude practice. It’s a way to incorporate the changing nature of our experience.

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how do you feel in this moment?