“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” ~ Denis Waitley
I know, I know, I am officially a broken record when it comes to gratitude. But I am a broken record because it is something that I believe is so incredibly important to practice. And gratitude is a practice.
When I taught yoga, many of my classes revolved around gratitude, which might make you shake your head and wonder if I was a sadistic teacher (maybe a little) because who the heck is gonna want to practice gratitude when you are chaturanging, downward dogging, and contorting yourself into poses all while sweating your ass off. Nor who is going to want to give thanks when they are resting on a bolster supported as they basically take an hours nap in restorative yoga?
Well my darlings THAT is when you need it the most. That is the essence of yoga. Not the poses, not a nap, but gratitude. Gratitude not just for the practice, but the space to give yourself clarity and reflection. Gratitude for your body that regardless of how much you might loath it at times, is moving in incredible ways and is actually quite magnificent.
Gratitude is a mindset.
Excuse the language but you are going to have shit days. While I strongly believe that we control our own happiness and it is something that we not only work towards constantly, but also choose, sure as the sun rises and sets, shit is going to happen. Life is full of dualities. (something else I
harp on talk about a lot) You need the highs and lows, and while the pendulum shouldn’t swing an exorbitant amount, because mentally, that is not healthy, without the lows, you won’t have the highs. You need both sides of the coin to be mentally well rounded. The in authenticity is when you stay in a place of euphoric happiness all the time.
That is why gratitude is so important. It is something you can do even when things seem dark, and it can help pull you out of that darkness and find happiness. I have a gratitude journal I write in without fail. Because there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. ALWAYS. It sounds so mundane, but yes, there are days, especially when I am fighting with depression and anxiety where I am grateful just to get out of bed in the morning. It is not all the “big” stuff like family and friends, but also being thankful for the smaller things, like you gave yourself some much needed TLC, or coffee. Yes I mentioned it before, but everyone should really be grateful for coffee, especially when hanging around me in the morning.
Gratitude is an Attitude
You don’t have to be perfect at it, in actuality it is a practice that shies away from perfection and lets you embrace all the imperfections. But having a ritual you do, whether you vocalize to yourself everything you are grateful for in the morning, write in a journal or heck annoy everyone on facebook by posting three things every day, do what not only fits your lifestyle, but will ultimately resonate the most with you.
Gratitude isn’t just for Thanksgiving. It isn’t just a thank you because someone did something for you, or bought you something. It is deeper then that. It is reflection of all the little things that remind you that life is beautiful, no matter how dark and depressing or bright and shiny it is in that moment. Gratitude is an attitude and it is up to you whether you not only practice it, but live it.
What are you thankful for? How do you practice Gratitude?