In my yoga classes, I teach living in gratitude from moment to moment, throughout your day. That means having gratitude for the good and the perceived not-so-good. Taking time to give gratitude for all that encompasses your life will enrich you, it will ground you and give you a warm, fuzzy feeling. Who doesn’t a want warm, fuzzy feeling? Having gratitude for the positive stuff in our lives is easy but do you take time to really honor those times? Take a time out, sit and truly be thankful for the abundance in your life?
When I work with private clients and they want to learn more about establishing a meditation practice, we do a variety of techniques. One of them is establishing a daily gratitude practice. I find doing this practice before bedtime is a calming and grounding way to wrap up the day. It brings positive completion to the day. To start your own gratitude practice, try this before bedtime:
1. Find a comfortable place to sit (in bed, on a meditation cushion, comfy chair, wherever you feel the most at ease)
2. Have a journal or notebook and pen nearby in case you want to jot down any thoughts.
3. Close your eyes, relax your body and start to focus on your breath. Just follow the flow of breath in and out of your body.
4. Think about your day and acknowledge 3-5 things that happened that day you are grateful for to hold in your mind or you can write them down in your journal. These are things that touched you deeply, or shifted your thinking, a new life lesson or learning opportunity. Something that has truly impacted your day.
5. Take your time opening your eyes – allow time to bask in the warm, fuzzy gratitude afterglow.
Try this practice for a couple of weeks and see if you notice a difference in how you feel emotionally, mentally and maybe even physically. You can even start your day with a gratitude practice too!
So, I mentioned giving gratitude for all the wonderful things that happen in your life and even the not-so-good. You may be thinking, “Why would I give thanks when something ‘bad’ happens to me?” Well, that’s the beauty of a gratitude practice, my Friend. There are lessons to be learned when something not so fun happens to you. Opportunities to evolve into our best self are available each and every day. What one person sees as a negative situation, another could see an opportunity for growth. Maybe you gain insight into a situation, or a person, that can shift how you move forward. Or you learn something about yourself that needs some altering. Life is harsh, it’s not easy but we can still give gratitude for all of it.
I know this crazy idea of giving gratitude for the “bad” stuff that happens in your life is a big pill to swallow. Noodle it, my Friend, and think about how you react to all the events of your life. I want to go through life as positive as I can, try to wade through all the negative and come out on the other side the least jaded as possible. Maybe you won’t give gratitude right when something not so fun happens (I don’t all the time) but, at some point, take time to see the lesson, the message that event provided. I believe things happen for a reason – good and bad.
I am grateful for YOU.
Until next time, Live Vibrantly, my Friend.