Though our family will not be celebrating Thanksgiving in a traditional sort-of way this year (we are in the middle of relocating back to the U.S.), that will not stop us from connecting with the spirit of the holiday. During previous moves, illnesses, and challenging times, I instinctively turned to gratitude as a conscious practice to sustain me. It is now like second-nature to me to review my day and feel gratitude wash over me. Over the last few years, this has been proven as a way to increase our happiness set-point (if you want to read more about the studies on gratitude, I recommend the book Thanks.)
I have so much to be grateful for today-- in fact, more than I could have ever imagined.
There have been many times in my life that I haven't felt like there was much to be grateful for. I know there are lots of people who might be there right now. The economy is volatile. The world seems to be in the midst of a huge change and it seems none of us know what's coming.
Authentic gratitude is always available -- even when times seem dark.
To me, in times of difficulty, practicing gratitude has felt like turning my face toward the sun and choosing to look at what I have rather than what I don't. In law of attraction terms, focusing our attention on what we already have that is wonderful and amazing is like telling the Universe we are ready for more of the good stuff.
Gratitude breeds more good stuff to say thanks for.
It's not about pollyanna-ish, "Everything is great and wonderful." To me, it is about acknowledging the things that are challenging, but then, choosing to pay attention to, and focus on, that which is good and right in our world.
When I was really ill and scared out of my mind by the pain I was experiencing, I was reading a book by Jon Kabat-Zinn and he said something to this effect, "If you are breathing, you are ahead of the game." And I got it. I mean, I REALLY got it.
Being alive is a state of grace.
The possibility and potential for happiness and ease only exists if we are breathing. The opportunity to feel the sun or the rain on our faces, to build snowmen, to walk in the park, to laugh with friends, to find common ground with loved ones, to find our calling and our purpose -- none of this exists without life.
If you are reading this and times are difficult, my heart goes with you.
I know what dark times feel like. But I also believe that you are lucky. You have a chance and a choice to live in gratitude and to overcome whatever it is you are facing right now. You have your breath and your body and your free will and choice to make the absolute best of your circumstances.
Let any painful emotions have their say and have their place - don't try and resist (it will just get "stuck" in your body). Feel what you need to feel and then, choose gratitude. Look at your life with fresh eyes and see what is right and good in your life. As you ground yourself in the blessings of your life, may that goodness grow and blossom in the coming year.
Namasté to you, business yoginis! And, thank you so much for reading, commenting, and being a part of the world that I live in.
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