extra grateful: a new 1:5 gratitude challenge.

Here’s a new Gratitude Challenge for you: 1:5. In the traditional 30 days of gratitude approach, our list often becomes stagnant, rote and trivial by the end of the month. We start listing things that are fun, fast and easy, instead of listing things that truly bring us back to our Highest Self and the practice of Gratitude.

So, a shift on an old theme: 1:5. Name ONE thing you are EXTRA grateful for and 5 people who make it possible. As we know, writing an acknowledgements page is good for the soul: in the end, we cannot take ANY of this stuff with us, but our relationships and the people we love leave an impression on our Soul.

For example:

This year I’m extra grateful to be the Owner and Curriculum Director of Westport Yoga KC. It’s not an easy job, but it’s worth it because I get to share generously the teachings of yoga and meditation with willing and beautiful Souls every day. I have 5 incredible teachers who teach at Westport Yoga KC and make my dream possible: Thank you Maris, Amie, Sedona, Jesse and Kelly. (Of course, it’s really my STUDENTS who make it possible… but I’m sticking with the above Fantastic 5.)

This year I’m extra grateful that I am HEALTHY! Severe allergies, sinus issues, skin rashes and energy imbalances seemed to be the norm for most of my life and this year I am HEALTHY! It’s feels like a miracle; a big shout out goes to my ‘health squad’: my nutritionist, my acupuncturist, my Yoga Medicine teacher and my best friend Russell Clive who gets me out on walks daily. (And also my Ironman who buys a vanload of vegetables every Monday at Costco so our crock-pot is continuously full of soup. (See.. limiting it to 5 people is actually a bit difficult…)

Name 5 specific things you are EXTRA grateful for and the 5 people who make it possible.

Take a minute to thank some of these people who make your life happier, healthier and more whole.

The practice of Gratitude is just that: it is something we practice. Gratitude is the key to living a wholehearted life; it is the key to living in the Present Moment and learning to see the Divine in all the little moments we tend to overlook.

A Guided Meditation during which we consciously name, reflect on and appreciate specific blessings in our life reminds us that the only reasonable response to being alive is that of Gratitude. As always, I’ll be teaching a Full Guided Gratitude Meditation at Westport Yoga KC this month.

Please check our website for current dates of Donation Yoga Classes supporting Rose Brooks Center, which helps women and children in Kansas City re-build sustainable lives after leaving unsafe households.

Westport Yoga KC

why gratitude is the only reasonable response to life. #MeditationThoughtMondays

gratitude balasana

It’s November and Facebook is blowing up with ‘Thankful Lists.’ These lists say something like, “Today I’m thankful for my house, my family, my car, my bathtub and my Pumpkin Spice latte.”  My list usually includes my space heater and my warm socks.  2013-10-17 16.03.15

I love November because people start thinking about expressing gratitude for all of the conveniences in their lives and they smile a little bit more.

But gratitude deserves more attention than your 30-day Facebook List.  It 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 acknowledge 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.” 

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 to you? 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.”

-lisa

full gratitude meditation: For this moment and for so many more, I give thanks, with a grateful heart.

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gratitude balasana

gratitude meditation.

Practice this Gratitude Meditation to uncover a deeper present moment awareness. Why?  Because the only reasonable response to being alive is Gratitude.

Read each sentence aloud, mindfully.  Take a deep breath after you read it.  Pause. Re-define your Gratitude.  Your whole life will change, I promise.

gratitude meditation.

“I live in gratitude.

Every day that I awaken and breathe, I am grateful.

Every day that I think a thought and feel my heart stirring, I am grateful.

Every day that I am upright and whole, I am grateful.

Every day that a creative idea becomes solid reality, I am grateful.

Every day that I face a fear, I am grateful.

Every day that I discover awareness of the smallest of beauties, I am grateful.

Every day that I am enlightened, given insight, have an epiphany, I am grateful.

Every day that I exercise compassion, understanding and patience, I am grateful.

Every day that I encounter another living creature and engage, I am grateful.

Every day that I am hugged, kissed, and loved, I am grateful.

Every day that I laugh, I am grateful.

Every day that my family is healthy and happy, I am grateful.

Every day that my friends do well in the world, I am grateful.

Every day that love is evident in my life, I am grateful.

Every day that I act out of anger, or from a place of frustration, I am grateful because each encounter offers me an opportunity to learn about myself.

Every day that brings me a challenge and tests my spirit, I am grateful.

Every day that I am humbled by a mistake, I am grateful.

Every day that I am faced with seemingly unbearable odds, I am grateful for the lessons I have learned and my spirit that is strengthened by these things.

Every day that I try, I am grateful.

Every day that I try AGAIN, I am grateful.

Every day that I have some time to myself for quiet and reflection, I am grateful.

For every day that is NEW, I am grateful.

For every blessing, surprise, breath, song, word, hope, reason, and heart, I am grateful.

For this moment and for so many more, I give thanks, with a grateful heart.”

 

Which sentence rings most true to you?  Today, where will you focus your gratitude?  Tell me about your Gratitude Challenge this month.  I can’t wait to hear about it!

Happy Gratitude,

-lisa

Every day that I can have some time to myself for quiet and reflection, I am grateful.

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gratitude challenge day twenty: November 26  

“Every day that I can have some time to myself for quiet and reflection,

I am grateful.”

Steps to completing the gratitude meditation challenge:

Read.  Breathe.  Smile.  Sit in stillness.  Read again.  Express your gratitude for this moment and for all of the many blessings which bring you joy in this life.

day twenty

 Why gratitude?  Because it’s the only reasonable response to being alive.  Read more here.      

With gratitude,

-lisa

 

every day that I try, I am grateful. Every day that I try AGAIN, I am grateful.

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gratitude challenge day nineteen: November 25  

“Every day that I try, I am grateful.  

Every day that I try AGAIN, I am grateful.”

Steps to completing the gratitude meditation challenge:

Read.  Breathe.  Smile.  Sit in stillness.  Read again.  Express your gratitude for this moment and for all of the many blessings which bring you joy in this life.

day nineteen

Why gratitude?  Because it’s the only reasonable response to being alive.  Read more here.      

With gratitude,

-lisa

 

every day that I am faced with seemingly unbearable odds, I am grateful for the lessons I have learned and my spirit that is strengthened by these things.

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gratitude challenge day eighteen: November 24   

“Every day that I am faced with seemingly unbearable odds,

I am grateful for the lessons I have learned

and my spirit that is strengthened by these things.”

Steps to completing the gratitude meditation challenge:

Read.  Breathe.  Smile.  Sit in stillness.  Read again.  Express your gratitude for this moment and for all of the many blessings which bring you joy in this life.

 

day eighteen

Why gratitude?  Because it’s the only reasonable response to being alive.  Read more here.      

With gratitude,

-lisa

 

every day that I am humbled by a mistake, I am grateful.

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gratitude challenge day seventeen: November 23  

“Every day that I am humbled by a mistake,

I am grateful.”

Steps to completing the gratitude meditation challenge:

Read.  Breathe.  Smile.  Sit in stillness.  Read again.  Express your gratitude for this moment and for all of the many blessings which bring you joy in this life.

day seventeen

Why gratitude?  Because it’s the only reasonable response to being alive.  Read more here.      

With gratitude,

-lisa

 

every day that I act out of anger, or from a place of frustration or a broken heart, I am grateful …

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gratitude challenge day sixteen: November 22.

“Every day that I act out of anger, or from a place of frustration or a broken heart,

I am grateful because

each affliction offers an opportunity to learn

about myself and my fellow man.”  

Steps to completing the gratitude meditation challenge:

Read.  Breathe.  Smile.  Sit in stillness.  Read again.  Express your gratitude for this moment and for all of the many blessings which bring you joy in this life.

day sixteen

Why gratitude?  Because it’s the only reasonable response to being alive.  Read more here.      

With gratitude,

-lisa