A Year of Spiritual Companionship: 52 Weeks of Wisdom for a Life of Gratitude, Balance and Happiness

Nourish your spirituality with helpful reminders to look for—and create—moments of grace every day. For seekers of all backgrounds, these weekly reflections offer inspiring quotations from all faith traditions; current research on happiness, mindfulness and gratitude; and practical suggestions for incorporating spiritual practices into daily life.

Anne Kertz Kernion
Foreword by Rev. Carol Howard Merritt

Quality Paperback
5 x 7¼, 176 pp | 978-1-59473-617-9

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Find peace, connection and heartfelt joy in everyday life.

“[This book] doesn’t come at me as a self-help list of things I ought to be doing, adding to my full life, but focuses me on my own path. Each week offers practices that encourage gratitude, mindfulness and listening.... With gratitude for Anne’s words, I hand this book over to you, so that we might journey, contemplate and practice together.”

—from the Foreword by Rev. Carol Howard Merritt

In this week-by-week guide to living more thoughtfully, Anne Kertz Kernion leads you through an exploration of everyday spirituality, combining the wisdom of spiritual luminaries, life lessons, and insights from social science and neuroscience. A businesswoman, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, Anne shows how it is possible to bring more awareness, love and gratitude into your busy life, keeping in touch with your deepest beliefs and most authentic self.

“Clear, accessible, inviting, inspiring and, above all, beautiful.”

James Martin, SJ, author, Jesus: A Pilgrimage and The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything

“A basic guide to deeper prayer, greater self-awareness, and appreciation of the gifts that this life has to offer.... Accessible, applicable and inspirational.”

Amy Florian, CEO, Corgenius; author, No Longer Awkward: Communicating with Clients through the Toughest Times of Life

“Splendid..... Each page overflows with faith and beauty, hope and love, as well as illuminating insights.”

Rev. Jeff Taylor, president, United Methodist Foundation of West Virginia

“Designed for individual use, the book easily adapts for use in retreat and small group settings.... A gracious gift to all who pursue a more balanced and reflective life.”

Rev. Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook, EdD, PhD, professor of practical theology, Claremont School of Theology; author, Hildegard of Bingen: Essential Writings and Chants of a Christian Mystic—Annotated & Explained

“Dive into the extraordinary ordinariness of life.... A guide for living with curiosity, compassion and gratitude.”

Mary Coonan, chair and co-director of societal health and well-being, Shambhala Meditation Center of Boston

“A personalized guide for introspection.... Enjoy a few moments bathing in the stillness and warmth it will bring.”

Dr. Paul Nussbaum, president, Brain Health Center

“A rich resource.... Accessible anecdotes and quotable quotes engage and challenge.”

Rev. Canon Jane Brooke, canon chancellor, Chester Cathedral, UK

“This beautiful book can help us cultivate a practice of gratitude. Its pages are to be learned, not merely read.”

Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar, author, The Bridge to Forgiveness: Stories and Prayers for Finding God and Restoring Wholeness

“Will move your heart, engage your mind, and inspire your spirit! ... With deep authenticity, this book leads us toward a more reflective, compassionate and healthy life.”

Rev. Dr. Carolyne Call, author, Spiritually Healthy Divorce: Navigating Disruption with Insight & Hope



What motivated you to write this book?
I often give presentations to groups, focusing on how to live our spirituality every day—how we can cultivate gratitude and mindfulness, enhance our inner peace, increase our happiness and creativity, and live more balanced lives. Frequently, attendees ask if copies of my notes are available so they can review the tips and suggestions I’ve provided. This book was written to put on paper what I’ve hoped to teach (and to be honest, what I need to continue reminding myself), presented in an easy-to-use weekly format.

What do you hope readers take away from reading your book? How can this book help readers in their spiritual journeys?
One of the biggest challenges in my own spiritual journey is remembering how I want to live—day by day—amidst the many demands of running a business, being a mother, a wife, a grandmother, a teacher and a friend. We often get caught up in our to-do lists, forgetting to be present to the ordinary beauty that life presents to us every single day. This book provides tips on creating habits and practices that guide us to enhance our awareness of that beauty, highlighting insights from spiritual luminaries, neuroscience and psychology. Along the way, I share many of my favorite inspiring quotes, encouraging us all to live more thoughtfully, compassionately and wholeheartedly. Life offers frequent moments of joy and radiance that I don’t want to miss for lack of attention, and I’m guessing that neither do you. These practices help me to remember to keep my eyes open, my spirit awake, and my heart focused on what matters most.

What makes this book unique?
With a background in both science and theology, I am intrigued by the intersection of scientific research and spirituality. So my reflections draw on varied disciplines, uncovering connections that elude us when we focus on just one area of study. Often, the recommendations offered by these various practices have much in common, leading us to greater peace, improved physical and mental health, and better relationships. We are challenged and gently guided, week by week, to come alive and live every day more fully, happily and gratefully.

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  1. In what ways are you hoping to grow in the coming year? What new habit or practice would you like to begin that would aid in that growth? Do you know others who can help and encourage you?
  2. Are there any “happiness activities” that you’ve put into practice and found beneficial?
  3. Have you had an opportunity to spend a few extra moments truly observing someone or something, seeing the “ordinary wonders” around you? What do you take for granted?
  4. What unique gifts can you offer to the world that you haven’t yet cultivated? What steps could you take to start that process?
  5. Is there a weekly reflection that speaks to you more than others, with suggestions you continue to follow? Why does that one resonate with you?
  6. Did any of the stories from the author’s life cause you to remember an event in your own life that you’d forgotten? What happened? Did you gain any insight?
  7. What advice would you give graduates if you were asked to give a commencement address?
  8. How do you express your creativity? In what ways do you (or would you like to) nurture it?
  9. Have you taken some time to sit quietly and breathe, or to eat a meal at half-speed? If so, what was that experience like?
  10. Discuss a time when you had a “Velcro” moment that could have been better handled in a “Teflon” way.
  11. What insights or practices discussed in this book do you want to bring into your life, and why?