Reframing Challenges with Gratitude

This week in meditation classes, I am focusing on reframing your challenges as your biggest motivators. This description sounds backwards, because we all like to complain about how hard the circumstances in our lives are (once in a while :) ). But, I bet the last major hurdle in your life had a silver lining or two.

Think about it-- What major life challenges have you faced in the past year? Did they make you stronger? More awake and aware? More connected to those around you?

Here’s the thing about the biggest obstacles we face in life: they are our greatest teachers.

Last week my best friends moved out of the apartment across the hall from me. On top of other personal tragedies, their leaving hit me really hard. When something happens “to you,” it can be so tempting to wallow in blame and self-pity. 

However, thanks to regular mindfulness and gratitude practices, I have trained my brain to see the silver linings and the hidden blessings in almost every challenge.

Sure enough, in the first three days after my neighbors “deserted me," I taught two yoga classes, attended six yoga classes, participated in one (amazing) yoga workshop, sang my heart out at a community kirtan, and attended Sunday service at the Center for Spiritual Life Dallas. 

That is a LOT of spiritual development and quality time with self. I don't think I would have been so motivated to reconnect with my truth if my best friends had been across the hallway wanting to hang out by the pool and barbecue all weekend. 

Therefore, even though I miss my neighbors dearly, I am refocusing my energy on seeking out healthy self-expression and connection to others. I am even grateful for this opportunity to spend more quality time with myself.

The Buddha’s teachings support the saying, “Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.” To be human is to experience challenges, but how we respond to those challenges can change the course of our lives.

Practice accepting everything that comes your way, even the tough stuff. Trust that there is a silver lining you can’t see yet. Believe that you can shape your reality through acceptance and gratitude.


With so much love,