What does your gratitude look like?

I’m curious about something.
When you pause and think about the things you're grateful for? What comes to mind?
If you wrote them down do you think you could fill a page?
Would they start with the basic needs we all have? Food, water, shelter?
Would they include every person you’ve ever met? Even the ones you wouldn’t want to see again?
Would you add the “little things” that are really the “big things” like health, breath, your heartbeat?
What about the in-between things like a conversation with a friend when you needed it the most? Or a stranger smiling at you on the street?
How about your worries? Are the things you worry about maybe also a blessing?
What does your gratitude look like?
How deep can you go with it?
Are you just skimming the surface?
What does your gratitude feel like?
Do you feel it in your bones?
Does it give you goosebumps when you hold space for it?
Does it overwhelm you?
Calm you?
Bring tears to your eyes?
Make you angry?
Do you hold it close to your chest or share it with the world?
How do you express your gratitude?
Does it look like love?
Does it feel like a gift?
This one word…gratitude…has so many layers.
Through yoga, I’ve come to believe that we each are covered with infinite layers.
Each layer is a lesson, a fear, a belief, a perspective…
And through our practice, we slowly shed a new layer, and with this shedding, nothing is lost, but instead, something is gained.
A new lesson, a new fear, a new belief, a new perspective.
Each bringing with it fresh nuggets of wisdom and challenges.
When I look at my own list I wonder… how can so many things matter so much, and at the same time not matter at all?
The roof over my head, that also sometimes acts as a dance stage for the neighborhood crows.
The clothes on my back that protect my skin from the cold.
The song "Blessings" by Chance the Rapper that makes me smile from ear to ear.
Business trips I don’t like taking, that force me to face my fear of flying over and over and over.
The studio where I teach. A space for practice and community. A sea of people, all coming and going, making tiny unspoken offerings to each other every time they arrive.
This journey.
This human journey of shedding new layers.
And gaining new perspectives.
I don’t know about you, but this practice of gratitude kind of makes all the things blend together for me – the “good” and the “bad”.
And just makes them…things.
Things that I get to choose how to engage with.
All too often we’re quick to label something as one or the other ("good" or "bad")…what if we didn’t have to?
What if things could just be experiences that uncover new things?...

I know that when I take a step back from my active labeling, to just experience, I feel more grounded and I move through the negative much quicker.
Man, all this from a simple question…what does your gratitude look like?!
I blame yoga :-)
As always, thank you for being a part of this community.
Sending you big hugs and hope to see you in class sometime soon!

Taylor PangmanComment