gratitude 2016.

gratitude balasana

I originally published this Full Gratitude meditation on my site three years ago. Since then, dozens of you have written me to tell me its profound impact on your daily life, on your family life, and on your ability to share in gratitude during the holiday season. To say it boldly, it may be the most profound article I have ever shared.

Recently I was completing an application to attend a leadership conference and this question was asked:

“Where can you bring more gratitude into your life?”

My first thought: everywhere.

But that’s a cop-out answer on any application, so I had to think of something specific. I’m always grateful for my job: bringing light and yoga into this world.  I’m always thankful for my students: they continue to receive my teaching with open hearts.  I’m always thankful for Russell Clive: my very best friend. And this year, I’m especially grateful for my family.  I’m grateful for my parents and sisters who helped me marry the love of my life and I’m grateful to my husband’s family for bringing me into theirs. I’m so grateful to be alive in a time when peace is possible, when reconciliation is more important than ever before, and when communities are banding together to support Love and equality.  In fact, I might say  that only reasonable response to being alive is Gratitude.

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I’d like you to practice this Gratitude Meditation to uncover a deeper present moment awareness.

Read each sentence aloud, mindfully.  Take a deep breath after you read it.  Pause. Feel it.

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 matter, I am grateful.

Every day that I face that thing of which I am most afraid, I am grateful.

Every day that I am given 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 I change someone’s life….. or that someone changes mine, 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 or a broken heart, I am grateful because each affliction offers an opportunity to learn about myself and my fellow man.

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 can 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.”

 

in gratitude,

-lisa

lisa14

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

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

 

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

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gratitude challenge day fifteen: November 21

“Every day that love is evident in my life,

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 fifteen

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

With gratitude,

-lisa