I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday. I love it because it invites me to pause and look back at all the blessings that have come to me over the past year.
And it reminds me that gratitude is a practice. It's something I do -- and must do -- as a daily practice. When I wake up in the morning. And when I go to bed at night. And throughout the day.
This year, I decided to become a "gratitude practitioner," looking at all the moments each day that bring precious gifts:
... a stranger smiling ... enjoying good health ... my mom (98, and no slowing down for her!) ... and my beautiful family ... the teachers at our studio showing up, without fail, always well-prepared, so eager to teach ... the larger fellowship of yoga-therapy-mentors, who support me unfailingly and generously when I have questions about anything and everything ... a student offering to clean all the blankets in the studio as a way of saying thank you ... a friend and colleague helping me to organize the props in the studio closets ... a trainee who takes it upon herself to organize the studio room schedule ... and another who organizes the weights in those fabulously tidy closets ... the amazing people at Kula for Karma who make it possible for me to do what I so love to do: train teachers in yoga therapeutics ... friends who showed up when I was healing from knee surgery, with tea, aromatherapy oils, warm blankets, books, and care packages that may or may not have included a few trips to Starbucks :) ... a friendly salesperson ... someone who holds the door open when I come charging through with too many things in my hands ... a stranger who decided to listen, really listen, when I was sad and just needed someone to talk to ... a colleague who selflessly sends students here because they need what we do ... my friends who offer friendship, respect and kindness without question ... the dog "wranglers" who love Cosmo and treat him so well ... and of course Cosmo himself, faithful golden retriever, for his unconditional love and fuzzy hugs ...
So much to be thankful for. And I see, as I write this, that it's not the huge, dramatic things I'm most grateful for -- it's the small gifts that I cherish; those moments when someone could choose to not care, to not be kind, to fly by ... but didn't.
And so, on this eve of Thanksgiving 2015, let's pause in our busy-ness and take a moment to be thankful for all the blessings in our lives, large and small. Let's write them down, to be revisited at a time when the going is rough. Let's be kind, to ourselves, and to each other.
Let's all be "gratitude practitioners!"
From my heart to yours, a heart overflowing with gratitude,