Suffering is part of the human condition. One thing I have seen in my yoga journey is that regardless of age, money, fame, and beauty, we all experience suffering.
It’s too easy to fall into the “victim” mentality and say that the world is against us. This will lead us to turn in and isolate ourselves from our friends, family and society, feeding the “monkey mind” that we work to quiet with our yoga and/or meditation practice.
Instead, we can use the mindfulness we’ve attained to practice gratitude for our healing. Gratitude will help us experience our challenge with strength and move forward stronger than ever.
How to get started?
Create a Gratitude List. Grab a piece of paper and pen. Then start a list of all the things you are grateful for. My list began like this.
I am grateful for:
- My loving family
- A healthy body
- Lola (my sweet pup)
- A job that I LOVE!
Find a quiet space and sit comfortably in a chair or on your mat with your list. One at a time, read a gratitude item out loud or to yourself and then close your eyes and take 10 slow deep breaths focusing on that item in your mind. Once you finish going through each gratitude item, sit quietly for another 10-20 breaths. Notice any changes in your body and mind after your practice. You may feel lighter, warmer or even have a hard time trying not to smile
Making this practice a daily routine will truly help accelerate your healing. First thing in the morning or right before bed is best. If you happen to miss a day, forgive yourself and get started again.
In time you will see how the practice of gratitude will help heal your heart and strengthen your mind. It will also help you attain greater compassion for yourself and others.
Namaste my dear friends and Happy Thanksgiving!