Gratitude, Grace and Connection
The practice of Yoga teaches us more than poses. With consistent practice we can develop strength and suppleness, and also clarity of mind and a calmer, more relaxed and open perspective on life. When we embrace the teachings of Yoga, we learn to let go of our ideas about the way we think life should be, and instead embrace life just it is, trusting that all is as it should be in the big scheme of living our life.
Whether we’re in a space where good fortune governs our days, or in a place where we’re troubled, experiencing what I call the “difficult privileges” of hardship, betrayal, loss and challenge, we can accept the ebb and flow of our lives with a sense of peace and, yes, even gratitude.
Gratitude is a space we hold in our hearts…a infinite space that resides quietly within us, offering limitless potential to renew our spirits, to accept and forgive imperfection, to unlock the fullness of life. Embracing gratitude is a way of being in this world, not simply a seasonal feast. Gratitude opens us to Grace. If we are intent on remaining conscious in our moments, we’ll begin to notice that the flow of Grace is continuous, that everything that comes across our path is Grace in some form.
Connection opens us to the experience of Gratitude. Shedding our inauthentic selves and ego-identities, and then settling in to our true nature – that of Love - we become willing to take the sweet risk of connecting to others from that tender place. We can cultivate the attitude of gratitude as a heart-felt sensation from which everything we experience can emanate. Gratitude is about living in the moment, more alive in the experience of now, relishing all the gifts of presence in the present. Gratitude as a conscious intentional practice that allows us to celebrate the inherent simple joys of life…breathing and being, experiencing the world through all our luscious senses, seeing clearly, giving and receiving Love, living in a mindset that there is enough.
Gratitude ripens the soul and softens the heart, melting away the barriers that we may perceive between ourselves and others, ourselves and the world. This allows us to expand, to be free of the incessant distraction of want, to live a more conscious life where there is resonance between thought, feeling and action. I beleive this is the very essence of living authentically with integrity.
It’s pretty simple to recognize the obvious blessings in life...positive experiences, loving people, work we love, material goods we posses, our good health. However, we often times tend to lament what we perceive as misfortune, lack and limitation. To live in a state of grace and gratitude, we need to look beyond our complaints and wishing that what is wasn't so.
Here’s my wish for you in this time of giving thanks … May your heart be broken open by life rather than broken down. May you learn to trust the difficulties and misfortunes of your life as truly wise teachers, blessing it all as it arrives on your doorstep to be opened. May you feel the connection to all the love in your life, present to every experience, every person, every breath, every sound, sight and feeling.
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