Summary of Living in Gratitude
Each day and every moment you have an opportunity to be thankful for something. And fostering this gratefulness in your daily life can have some pretty amazing effects on your health and wellbeing, your relationships with others, your spiritual growth, even your pocketbook.
Angeles Arrien’s book Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life guides you through a 12-month process for embracing, nourishing, and experiencing gratitude in your life. She pulls from perennial wisdom, religious and philosophical teachings, beliefs, customs, and more, developing a holistic and practical approach to gratitude.
What I liked about Living in Gratitude
The book is well organized. Each chapter provides a focus for the month — January through December — often using the socio-religious connotations of that month as inspiration. For example, February is “Attend to the Heart” in honor of Valentine’s Day.
The information in the book is backed up by references. Dr. Arrien shares references to research that support her concepts. She references studies on gratitude by such researchers as Robert A. Emmons and Michael E. McCollough (authors of The Psychology of Gratitude); John Demartini (creator of the Demartini method); and John Gottman (known for his work on marital stability and relationship analysis through scientific direct observations).
Each monthly chapter provides actionable exercise. Each chapter provides you with a focus for the month, along with information about that particular topic. Then, each chapter provides reflections and practices to help you engage with that focus over the month. At the end of the month, each chapter provides guidance for reviewing and integrating what you have learned and experienced that month.
What I didn’t like about Living in Gratitude
The exercises at the end of each chapter were pretty much the same for every chapter. I would have appreciated a little bit more variety.
What I’d Love to See in the Second Edition
I would love to have access to printable journal pages that go with each chapter. I think this would help people better engage with the content.
Living in Gratitude can easily be used as a tool for independent reflection, as well as the focal point for a group wishing to engage in gratitude practice together. Although independent contemplation can be beneficial, Dr. Arrien encourages you to have an accountability partner (or group).
This book is an easy read and is a practical guide to becoming more aware of the blessings we all have in our lives. Whether you choose to read it straight through or take your time over the course of a year, this book can inspire you to be more thankful of the little, medium, and big things in your life. In fact, I’ve done both!
NOTE: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you’ve read past book reviews, you’ll know that I don’t pull my punches when I believe they are warranted. I also try to provide balanced information so you can make your own decision to read or not read the book, even if you disagree with my opinion.