Tis the season for proclamations of gratitude. T’wouldn’t it be even better if we were equally in touch with our thankful sides more frequently during the year? That said, better once than never. And I’m as guilty as anyone.
Yesterday I attended a yin yoga workshop at my preferred local studio and the theme was (not shockingly) gratitude. I arrived at the studio feeling stressed and more than a little on edge. Why? Well, it’s been a consistently on-the-go stretch of weeks. I’ve been easily frazzled by shifting schedules, delays, canceled appointments, last-minute requests of my time, and a range of who knows what else.
As class was getting started, small cards emblazoned with the word ‘gratitude’ were handed out along with pens, and we were entreated to take a moment to write a few thoughts on what we were, in that moment, thankful for. I somewhat abashedly admit, at first I was feeling a little challenged by what to write. My mind was spinning and I was anything but present, feeling overwhelmed and scattered and, to be frank, somewhat ungrateful.
We all have those moments, don’t we? A favorite meme I saw long ago posed the following: Remember when you wished for what you now have? Reality will issue a check.
As I started writing, however, the act of putting the pen on the paper made it easier to get in touch with the many things for which I am genuinely grateful. I wrote down that I was grateful to be so busy. Thankful because I’ve experienced the alternative, when I wished dearly for more work, needing income and unsure from where it would next come. Thankful for a body and mind that permits me to work efficiently and to keep long hours when I need to. Thankful for a life that enables me to work hard, and equally enjoy travel and friends.
I am thankful daily for the power of words. It was a transformative moment, to experience a mental shift from ungrateful to grateful, simply through the tiny act of making myself accountable to my own reality. To write something down makes it real. It takes it out of your head and into your world. Into your heart.
Maybe the next time, even when it is not Thanksgiving, I will be reminded of this moment. I will remember to take a pause, and to write down the things for which I am thankful, and the abundance of my life. By the end of the yoga class, surrounded by my fellow yogis, soft with the afterglow of self-care and body awareness, having recorded my gratitudes, it was much easier to confront the balance of the day.