Thanks Giving is upon us, and whether you celebrate the holiday or not, it’s the perfect time to stop, take stock of everything you have in your life and embrace the gratitude attitude! No matter where you are in your life, or how far you feel you still have to go, there is always something or someone to feel grateful for. And the best thing is, the more time you spend feeling grateful, the more abundance you will attract!
So along with turkey and all the trimmings, don’t forget to dish out the gratitude as well this holiday. When you wake up in the morning, immediately think of 3 things you are grateful for. What ever you eat on turkey day, feel blessed with every bite. And beyond making your own mental list, go ahead and share that gratitude with others. Let your mother, girlfriend, boss or favorite Starbucks barista know how lucky you feel to have them in your life. Send a surprise email to an old friend or distant relative just to let them know you are thinking of them. Tell your yoga teacher how much you enjoyed class.
Be it on Thanks Giving or after a mind blowing yoga class, for most of us, it’s easy to conjure up some good feelings when things are going well, but the real practice comes when Thanks Giving has come and gone and you are off your mat and dealing with the ups and downs of daily life. We can all get caught in the trap of dwelling on what we don’t have, what we don’t like about our lives or how difficult life can be… because at the end of the day, gratitude is not just for the privileged, nor does it miraculously appear once your life’s check list is completed, it’s a choice. There will always be someone who has more than you or less than you, who has achieved more or less in their lives, but the key is to chose gratitude no matter what. Life does not need to be perfect in order for you to be grateful, but once you are grateful, it’s easier to find peace exactly where you are.
In the world of yoga, we call this feeling of abundance Aparigraha - the ability to be grateful for what is present, which in turn brings us more goodness. There is a yoga sutra which says, “Acknowledging abundance we recognize the blessings in everything and gain insights into the purpose for our worldly existence.” (Sutra 2.39 translation by Nischala Joy Devi, The Secret Power of Yoga). When we let go of limited or negative beliefs, regardless of our suffering or challenges, and focus on the limitless potential life holds, we open ourselves up to infinite abundance and gratitude.
Want to take the gratitude attitude challenge? Try this: For the next month, when you wake up each morning, take a few quiet moments to write down five things you are grateful for. It could be as small as the cup of coffee you are drinking or the song you are listening to, or as big as the new job or relationship you finally landed. Beginning our day like this helps us feel more connected to ourselves, to those we love and to the universe in general. So go ahead, give the gratitude attitude a try and let us know how you feel!