Gratitude questions to use in circles

by Nancy Fritsche Eagan
November, 2016

In her book Living in Gratitude, Angeles Arrien calls us in the month of November into “grateful seeing – the ability to look first for what is good and working in our lives without minimizing or denying hardships or challenges that are present.” 

In the USA, November is also when we celebrate Thanksgiving – a time of harvest and honoring the bounty and beauty of harvest. It is a time of ritual, gatherings, generosity and letting go. I have developed a daily practice of reading and meditating on a quote and daily question from the website. These questions inspire reflection and openheartedness. I have also used these questions in my circle practice – to check-in, to deepen an inquiry, and to break hearts open and create vulnerability.

You might want to try this practice for 30 days – in your circles, in your meetings, in your own heart. Here are some of my favorite questions that were offered on  over the last year:

  1. What am I grateful for?
  2. Who can I forgive today?
  3. What does the dark allow me to see?
  4. How can I add beauty to life today?
  5. What is grace?
  6. What is ending in my life now?  How can I hold it with love and compassion?
  7. If I spoke tenderly to my fear, what would I say?
  8. What are my recent dreams telling me?
  9. How have the difficulties in my life helped me to know my resilience?
  10. What connects me to a sense of the sacred?
  11. How can I balance inner work with social action, ever grateful for opportunities to do both?
  12. What is it that kindles fire within me?
  13. What do I stand for?
  14. What would gratefulness whisper in my ear right now?
  15. What questions am I living into right now?
  16. Where is that special place in the world that makes you feel peaceful and calm, and that you can carry everywhere in your thoughts?
  17. What adds delight to my life?
  18. What does my curiosity want me to follow?
  19. What kind of experiences leave me in awe?
  20. When has collaborating with others made something better?
  21. What are some of my privileges?  How might I use them in service of my dreams for the world?
  22. What would gratefulness “do” right now?
  23. What vulnerability needs my compassion right now?
  24. How would my life change if I believed everything is happening for my learning?
  25. What makes me hopeful?
  26. What do I learn from moments of awe?
  27. What has inspired me today?
  28. What sounds of life nourish me?
  29. What really matters to me?
  30. What have I received from my ancestors?
  31. What opportunity is calling me to be fearless?
  32. What is one memory for which I am forever grateful?
  33. What would love do?
To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe – to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment fro it – is a wonder beyond words.
— Joanna Macy

Nancy Fritsche Eagan ( is founder and President of People Potential and has provided consultation and training services to public and social sector organizations for over 20 years. She applies her direct services and management experiences in government and the social sector to her work.  She is a specialist in change strategies, relationship and community building, leadership development and project management.  Nancy designs meetings to foster meaningful conversations in support of collaborative and inclusive processes.   Nancy is known for her ability to create and customize services and interventions that are suited to the needs of each organization.