Gratitude Practice Needed: Please Apply Inside

Last month, I was watching Ethan Van Leuven’s story on television. At the time, the 4-year old was dying of cancer with only days to live. The community was honoring his last wish to see Christmas by celebrating both Halloween and Christmas early and within days of each other. I cried quietly. I immediately thought of my children… and it evoked a sense of gratitude, followed by guilt, that my own children were healthy.

All too often, gratitude pops up in the midst of someone else’s misfortune. Whether an accident, an illness, loss of a job or some other unwanted outcome, we are inspired to lace our hands and thank the Universe for what we have. At that moment, the grass under our feet seems pretty green.

hála-1The truth is that gratitude takes practice. It takes work daily. I have my good days and my bad… more recently, I’ve been too busy to notice how lacking my gratitude has been.

I was in the habit of listing my gratitudes in the morning before I woke, something my teacher encouraged me to do while I was in yoga school. I also found journaling volumes about my day difficult. Instead, I wrote short notes at the end of the night, thanking the people who had made my day.

I know that I am not alone. Maybe right now your practice is strong or maybe right now you are needing the reminder like me. In this vain, I challenge you to pick up a free gratitude notebook at the studio. Write daily — whenever it doesn’t matter. Early in the morning or during the day, just find at least one thing that you are grateful for in your life.

If you feel like going a step further, trying a nightly “thank you” journal. I like to use an app called Day One but there are some other ones out there that are just as good. Jot down a note to the person who made you smile, got you to laugh, or just brought sunshine to your day.

Which brings me here, you are our sunshine. We love teaching. Everyone of your teachers. And know that we are grateful for you. And we are so thankful that you enjoy being a part of our family at Ebb & Flow.