Ardath Rodale is a spiritual teacher, organic gardener, cancer survivor, mother of five and grandmother of eleven, chairman of the board of Rodale Inc., and co-chair of The Rodale Institute, with a long-standing commitment to promoting health and wellness. This lushly illustrated volume brings together essays from her popular "Reflections" column in Prevention magazine. Rodale is the author of three other books including Gifts of the Spirit.

"I like to think that gratitude and grace are like my two hands working together. Grace is the power, beauty, and love of God that is always around us, but gratitude gives us the eyes to see it," Rodale writes. She has a well-developed sense of gratitude, and it shows in other essays as well. Like the Native Americans who give thanks in many ways for whatever comes their way, Rodale looks in the mirror and sees a chance to be grateful for all the blessings she has received. She takes an ordinary walk but lets it refresh her soul and reverberate into everything around her: "When I return from any walk, I'm filled with gratitude for the privilege of being alive in this beautiful world. I feel ready to face the day in the larger community as I carry with me and impart to others some of the energy and peace I find on that walk."

Rodale peppers these essays with thought-provoking quotations such as:

• "I thank God for my handicaps for through them I found myself, my work, and my God." - Helen Keller

• "I am working toward a time when everything gives me joy!" - Maya Angelou

• "Peace is as much about getting the bombs out of our own hearts as out of the Pentagon budget." - former Washington Post columnist Coleman McCarthy

Whether writing about fireflies, finding meaning in life, or the history of hands, Rodale brings to these essays a buoyant spirit and a keen sense of enthusiasm. Here's one last example:

"Above all, as you go through the day, remember to smile. The spark in your eyes is a message to everyone you meet that you know the joy of living."

Read a practice on gratitude