Gratitude is having its annual moment in the spotlight, thanks to the impending holiday season. Reminders to practice gratitude and helpful how-tos and why-tos are all over the interwebs. All of it, good stuff. Great stuff, really. My offering to you this holiday season, as I have tried this past year to incorporate an active gratitude practice in my life: you don’t get to be selective with it. Nope, you can’t look at the Thanksgiving table and say “I’m grateful for Aunt Sue, but not really for Uncle Bob. I love the stuffing, but that cranberry sauce is awful.” Gratitude doesn’t work that way.
So, while I count the blessings that make me happy, that bring joy and abundance, I offer gratitude from that same well when things make me angry or sad, when life is a bit glass half-empty. Gratitude is not selective or exclusive or practiced only on Thursdays. I have to be grateful for all of it: late G trains, rainshowers without umbrellas, sick days, and so on. Only by wrestling with the wonderful human-ness of my shortcomings and demons can I dwell in the light that true gratitude bestows.
One way to play with this: start your unfettered gratitude practice with the pose you like the least in class (because, there’s always one. Really. And that’s a-ok.). Offer specific appreciation for the pose, find its benefits to your body and mind, and define these things in a positive light. Start small and go from there!
With gratitude for you & your practice – much love,
Steph, Angela, and Christina