Connect with Gratitude
I was FaceTiming with my little sister a few weeks ago, and we were discussing our upcoming New Years vacation--a family cruise through the Panama Canal!
My sister Kate was lamenting the fact that we would all be together for almost two weeks, that the family drama would be unmanageable, that she and I would have to share a room...
I listened but kept pointing out all the silver linings, like the fact that this is a fully funded vacation!!!
She finally gave up and said, "Dorsey, can you stop being so positive? I mean sometimes I just want to complain a little bit." I cracked up and told her to start a gratitude journal.
I wasn't always like so positive. I attribute much of my positivity to yoga and meditation practice. In addition, my 2016 resolution to journal every day (including 5 things I'm grateful for) has helped me recognize silver linings within a week of even the most heartbreaking events.
Everyone has the right to complain (for a bit). But I have found that being actively grateful for the good things in life helps us move past the difficult things with more ease.
If you don't have an existing gratitude practice and are short on time, a great way to start your day is by staying in bed a few extra minutes (!!!). Reflect on the comfort, warmth and safety of your bed. You can then call to mind at least one thing you are grateful for. Let that gratitude fuel your positive intention for the remainder of the day.
In honor of Thanksgiving, I invite you to join me in a Gratitude Challenge over the holiday weekend.
Take 5 minutes each day to write down or share one thing you're grateful for. If you are on social media, post with the hashtag #gratitudechallenge.
Two peaceful yoga poses for a grounded, centered and grateful heart:
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Bring your feet hips width apart. Lift your toes and ground through all four corners of both feet. Reground your toes and engage your navel center toward your spine. Inhale to stretch your arms out and up, gathering up your gratitude. Exhale to pull that gratitude into your heart as you bring your hands to prayer at heart center. Ground into the earth as you reach the crown of your head toward the sky, feeling stable yet open to possibility. Take ten breaths in this active mountain pose.
Yogi Squat (Malasana)
Bring the feet mat's width distance (2-3 feet) apart; heels in, toes out. Bend your knees and lower your hips toward the earth. You may wish to bring a yoga block or another prop under your hips for a more passive inner thigh stretch. With hands at heart center, you can use your upper arms to further open your hips. Breathe into the stretch, feeling grounded through all four corners of both feet. Stay present in yogi squat for ten breaths or more.