This article was first published on November 5, 2014. I’m re-posting it to kick off a second year of the very popular Gratitude Meditation Challenge. Please join me!
“It’s November and Facebook is about to blow up with ‘Thankful Lists.’ These lists say something like, “Today I’m thankful for my house, my family, my job, my car, my bathtub, and my Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte.” My list usually includes my space heater and my warm socks.
I love November (the two best holidays of the year happen this month: my birthday and Thanksgiving!) because all of a sudden, people start thinking about expressing gratitude for all of the conveniences in their lives, and … they smile a little bit more.
But I want to challenge you to remember that gratitude deserves more than thirty seconds of your attention at the end of your yoga class and gratitude deserves more attention than your 30-day Facebook List. It even deserves more attention than the ten minutes at the Thanksgiving table when your family members identify one thing they are grateful for before digging into fall roasted veggies.
In reality, gratitude is the only reasonable response to being alive.
Why? Because if you really think about it, being alive is practically a miracle.
Whether or not you pause to examine it, a joyful, abundant, and healthy life is pouring itself upon you in each moment. This is one reason we practice finding and paying attention to the ‘Present Moment’ in yoga. And it’s the whole reason that yoga makes us happier. Michael Brown explains this in his book The Presence Process. He writes:
“What is Present Moment Awareness?
It is a State of Being in which we effortlessly integrate the authentic and Divine Presence that we are with each God-Given moment that we are in so that we are able to respond consciously to every experience we are having.
By accomplishing this, our response is always the same: GRATITUDE.” – m. brown
Meaning: if I’m aware that the moment I’m living is part of a joyful, abundant, and healthy life, then the ONLY reasonable response is gratitude. That’s all there is to it.
My challenge? It’s the same challenge I give at the end of every yoga class I teach. “Take a moment to the do the most important thing you will do all day: extend your deepest gratitude for this moment and for all of the many blessings which bring you joy in this life.”
What are your blessings? What brings you joy? What are you grateful for?
My GRATITUDE MEDITATION CHALLENGE uses my favorite Gratitude Meditation. You can find it here. Please join me in 60 seconds of Gratitude Meditation every day for 20 days. One minute, one thought, one day at a time. New to Meditation? Check out my tips for beginners: Learn to Meditate Your Way.”