Choosing Gratitude, Building Friendships, and Showing Up Whole

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 - 7:00 pm

Choosing Gratitude, Building Friendships, and Showing Up Whole

Krista is speaking in Nantucket. Lily (senior producer) is headed off to Milwaukee for a weekend of fun. Mariah (digital editor) is buying a house. And the rest of us are plugging away on this glorious autumn day. May the writing below give you something to work with during the week ahead!

(Alex Naanou / Flickr / Some Rights Reserved)

Sharon Salzberg: The Hardship We Accept, The Gratitude We Choose

“I have found myself thinking at times that gratitude can seem like a glorified form of denial, a way of papering over problems by posting inspirational quotes to social media, by labeling everything in life ‘a blessing.'”

Whenever something good happens in our household, my wife will often hold her index and middle fingers together, tap her forearm, and say in a somewhat chirpy, delightful voice, “Hashtag blessed! Hashtag gratitude!” It’s a bit of an inside joke for our family. Our boys react with an “Ah, Mom…” but kinda smile. I think she’s practicing exactly what Sharon invites more of us to do: to reset our dismissive instinct and be open to more than just pain and suffering. Have a read and share it with your friends.

(Simon Plestenjak / Flickr / Some Rights Reserved)

Omid Safi: Gathering Friends Like Roses

“Surround yourself with people who always insist on seeing the incomparable radiance of your being, and who refuse to let you settle for less than who you are.”

How do you choose your friends? That’s a question I don’t think most of us ponder. Omid wanders down this path, and even pulls in a bit of Rumi, reminding us of our contradictions and not just our sweet spots:

“Each one of us is a jackass
With wings of angels tacked on.”

(Jorge Quinteros / Flickr / Some Rights Reserved)

Courtney Martin: Showing Up Whole, Despite All the Risks

“It takes a certain kind of modern courage to stop crafting. To say, enough with the curation. Enough with the control. I’m just going to be myself — warts and all.”

Bringing our whole selves into our relationships means bringing our shattered and imperfect parts to the fore. A marvelous commentary on creating conduits for sharing the more vulnerable aspects of our being.
This weekly Letter from Loring Park is a work in progress — always evolving, always changing to meet your needs. If you have any suggestions on how I may improve it, please let me know. You can reach me at
May the wind always be at your back.

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is the cofounder of On Being and currently serves as publisher & editor-in-chief. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent’s reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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