Episode 178

Kristi Nelson - Waking Up Grateful: How Taking Nothing for Granted Changes Everything


August 23rd, 2023

1 hr 5 mins 30 secs

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About this Episode

“Not dying changed everything. Not only did I not die, I actually got to live. And living offered me the chance to bring the most meaningful lessons I learned from facing death into my life and into the lives of many others.” - Kristi Nelson

When Kristi Nelson was diagnosed with stage IV Cancer at age 33, she realized how easy it is to thirst for happiness when you are already standing knee deep in abundance. This is when she began to nurture a gratitude practice that transformed her life and to “being awake to what matters."

Stripped away from everything, she realized the abundance of life's simplest pleasures and began the practice of waking up grateful and staying mindful in her experience which opened her to the teachings and opportunities within each and every moment for learning, insight, love, and action even in the midst of her struggles.

This is when she had the revelation that gratitude is momentary and gratefulness is a way of being. That while gratitude needs something good to happen, greatfulness opens us to the opportunity to experience gratitude in every moment.

Our conversation dives into the five points of perspective and the power of gratefulness in activism and the importance of being deeply in touch with what makes us come alive.
Listeners are invited to visit Grateful Living for more information and can purchase Kristi's book, "Wake Up, Grateful," to delve deeper into the practice of living gratefully.

Key points from the conversation:

  • Kristi's personal journey with cancer and how it led her to find gratitude in the simplest of life's pleasures.
  • The idea of extending gratitude beyond fleeting emotions and events towards adopting a grateful way of being.
  • The generative nature of appreciation.
  • The distinction between gratitude and gratefulness. Gratitude being a reaction to specific positivity, while gratefulness being a continuous state of being.
  • Five points of perspective that enhance gratitude: Poignancy, Peak Awareness, Recognizing Privilege and Plenty, Connecting to Principles, and Finding Pleasure.
  • The role of gratefulness in our actions and activism. It's considered as an activator, which motivates us to protect and care for what we appreciate.
  • Living gratefully is about being fully present, embracing joy and vulnerability, and making a lasting impression on others.

If this conversation resonates with you, make sure to check out Kristi's book, "Wake Up, Grateful," and visit the Grateful Living organization for more inspiration. The links are in the show notes.

Kristi Nelson is the recently retired executive director of A Network for Grateful Living. She has a masters degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and has spent more than 30 years in nonprofit leadership, development and consulting. She was worked for the Center For Mindfulness in Medicine, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and the Soul of Money Institute. Kristi is a stage IV cancer survivor who cherishes living among friends and family in western Massachusetts.

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