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

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.

*  *  * 

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

say thanks. #MeditationThoughtMondays

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.Thanks

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,

-lisa

say thanks.  #MeditationThoughtMondays

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