Every afternoon I look forward to checking my tiny blue mailbox for post. I’m excited every time its hiding a card addressed to me (not a bill or a coupon encouraging me to buy more things I don’t need) and am even more excited when it is a note of gratitude. Here are some of Thank You cards I’ve received this spring. Each one has brightened my day beyond belief. Each card has been a surprise, each card has been purposeful, and each card has caused me to pause and contemplate by own gratitude.
Today, Say Thanks. When said with sincerity and integrity, a small expression of gratitude can change the world. Or at least it can change the moment.
As I was healing my left shoulder/ rib / back the past few months, my yoga practice routine has been forced to change drastically. I could no longer maintain my Second Series Ashtanga Routine and then still teach all my classes because the fatigue was too great. I could no longer go straight from practicing to teaching because I had to go home and ice my shoulder in between every class. I could no longer rely on my two hour moving meditation every morning to ‘shake all the thoughts out of my head.’ I discovered the challenge of long, deep stretches and a personal restorative yoga practice. I discovered a new love for the anatomy of the shoulder girdle and rotator cuff as I delved into possibilities for yoga as shoulder physical therapy. I discovered that I could still love myself even with an injured shoulder. It was a long process full of tears, fears, and self-questioning. And of course, it included letting go of my idea of ‘the perfect pose.’
Even in my times of greatest pain and frustration, I tried to remember that I could be grateful for the things my body COULD do, instead of focusing solely on the things that it COULDN’T do. (Most people don’t do six hours of yoga a day… it turns out… so there was no use in comparing myself to anyone else. But I still tried!) I tried to be grateful that I even had a body.
I started using the mantra “healing and gratitude” during my personal meditation sessions. I tried to smile toward my shoulder, not scowl at its slow progress. I even went so far as to write my body a Thank You card. The card was realistic: it recognized that my body could not perform backbends, chaturangas, twists, or any of the poses that I wrote on my 2015 “Resolve Board” at the moment, but it said “Thank You” for being a body that could breathe, walk, hug, and teach. It was cheesy. And really, really, wonderful.
Are you grateful for your body? Have you told it so lately? How can you say “Thank You” to yourself? (Hint… a yin yoga class at Westport Yoga KC and a luxurious bath? a healthy green smoothie? a moment of sitting still? )
Say Thanks today. There’s someone in your life who deserves a little gratitude and it might be you. Happy Healing,
say thanks. #MeditationThoughtMondays