Sunday, March 10, 2013

Grateful Every Damn Day

Gratitude. It's a necessary attitude to have in order to feel happiness in this life.  When we're filled with gratitude, we can easily find peace.  Gratitude opens our eyes and our hearts to all the beautiful things that matter in this life. Every day is a gift.  Every morning, even while we are just laying in bed, we should be giving thanks for the opportunity to live another day. Living a life full of gratitude will contribute to our uplifting feeling of completion. This is why we teach our children to say "thank you" and appreciate everything they are given from the moment they can speak.  Being grateful is reflecting on all our blessings and understanding that we already have everything we need to be happy here on earth.

March is the month during Rachel Brathen's "Yoga Every Damn Day" 2013 challenge completely dedicated to gratitude.  Rachel is one of my biggest inspirations in yoga and in life in general.  If you would like to participate in the challenge all you have to do is sign up with and join the Yoga Every Damn Day Challenge. Each day or as often as you can, upload something you are grateful for.  You can even upload a photo to go with it, and since I'm a little obsessed with pictures, I have a blast with that.  I decided for my blog entry today I would share my entries for each day of the first week of March.  Reflecting on something you're grateful for every day, be it big or small, is a life changing practice and I completely encourage it, either on Rachel Brathen's challenge or even just in your own personal journal.

March 1st
 Today I am grateful for the divine being who protected two of my sisters this week. They were both in bad car accidents. Both are going to be alright thanks to someone special watching out for them. I am grateful for my brother Chris in heaven who I know was behind it.

March 2nd
 Today I am grateful for my home. Sometimes I complain about still having to live with my parents at 23. (My own fault). But I've grown up in a beautiful, welcoming, warm home and I am so thankful for that.

March 3rd
Today I am grateful to be an Aunt. I became an Aunt when I was 5 and I've loved every minute of it. No one makes me feel loved the way my nieces and nephews do. They make me feel like a goddess whenever they run into my house with open arms begging me to hold them. Or when they push their mom or dad out of their seat at the dinner table because they saved that seat for me. Or even when they hug me and say nice things only because they want to play a game on my iPhone. Whenever I hold them, no matter where I am, it feels like home. Having all these children in my life is proof to me that we truly live amongst angels, for the divine inside of each of us is liken to that of a child. Beautiful, innocent, and shining with unconditional love.

 March 4th
Today I am grateful for my health. Growing up I always had health issues from asthma to thyroid problems to migraines. It made me an unhappy kid especially in my teenage years. I was also born with a rare blood disease, EPP, making it painful for me to be in the sun for any longer than 10 minutes. It wasn't until I graduated high school when I began to look deep within myself to search for the true source of my problems. And I found it. It was my attitude and it needed to be adjusted. I starting doing yoga and began to look at life in every positive way I could. My migraines became nonexistent. My asthma got under control because I started exercising my lungs more. I couldn't do anything about my EPP, but I could stop blaming it for my problems. I love the sun. I crave it. I just need the shade in order to enjoy it. I found that the greatest medicine there is is a positive attitude, and of course love. Love love!!

March 5
 Today I am grateful for my past. I'm grateful for every beautiful and every messy bit of it. Every smile, every laugh, every tear made me who I am today. I may have pouted and cried or slammed my bedroom door one too many times, but I'm thankful for my childhood. It's funny how when you look back on the years you've lived and you spot so many amazing moments you should have cherished more. Jamie Cullum said it best: "When I look back on my ordinary, ordinary life, I see so much magic though I missed it at the time." 

Never look back on your past with bitterness. Don't be so hard on yourself. Never regret your mistakes because mistakes are what built your character. They are what make us stronger and wiser as they point us in the right direction. Once you find the strength to let them go, your soul will finally be free to grow.

March 6th
 I'm grateful for morning snuggle time.

March 7th
Today I am simply grateful for discovering yoga. It taught me to stop looking for the right path. That's not living. Living is carving out your own path and I feel I'm clearing mine more and more with every yoga practice.

Lastly, before I close this entry, I wanted to share a gratitude reflection my 3 year old niece shared with me. This week I was working on teaching her how to reflect on everything she is grateful for.  She came up with candyland, her Mom and Dad, her brothers (after I suggested it I will admit), her cups, and Christina Perri. However, there was one thing she said that I know could be taken as something comical, but I took it as one of the most inspiring things I've ever heard. When asked, "What are you grateful for today?" she responded, "I am grateful for myself."  My initial reaction of course was to laugh at this gorgeous 3 year old girl's vanity, but then I thought more about it.  Being grateful for oneself is probably the most important of all!  A 3 year old knew this better than I did. If we don't learn how to love ourselves, how can we learn to love anyone else. C.G. Jung once said, "The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely."