I’m kind of a pessimist… I really don’t mean to be, but when things get rough I tend to be more of a glass half full kind of person… I’m trying to work on this, because I know that no one wants to hang out with the Debbie Downer… and I know that it tends to bring people around me down as well… It’s a little funny actually, because one of my fatal flaws is that I want to believe the best about people… I always give the benefit of the doubt, I make excuses for people, I think that everyone out there has good intentions…even when people are being jerks I tend to give them an out and day “oh well so and so has this happening in their life right now, so he/she has every right to act that way.” But I’m pretty sure sometimes people are just jerks… I’m also pretty sure that even though I’m going through a bit of a rough time right now, I don’t want to be pessimistic Debbie downer jerk face who brings everyone around her down… so I’m trying to focus on the little joys in my life.
Someone I once knew told me that when you ask the universe for something you also need to put out there what you are thankful for… (I’m pretty sure he got this from The Secret… which I haven’t read or watched… but it seems like a reasonable thing) and he used to think about what he was thankful for while he was washing his hair. Shortly after he told me this, I started to as well… and it was a little generic, but a step in the right direction. “I’m thankful for my family, I’m thankful for my job, I’m thankful I have this person in my life, I’m thankful for my friends, that I have a place to live”etc. and it was a brief little morning reminder that life was good.
Weeks went on, and when this person was no longer in my life I switched to “I’m thankful for my family, I’m thankful for my job, I’m thankful that I met this person, even though things feel shitty right now, I’m thankful for my friends, that I have a place to live, I’m thankful for my bulldog…” etc.
A week ago I got into the shower, and had a fleeting thought that if things kept up the way they were I was going to find myself with a very short list… and so I started trying to focus on the smaller things that I was thankful for, rather than the big picture things. I’m still thankful for my family, my friends, that I have a place to live, for the trundly bulldog who recently barfed up a chunk of one of my shoes and a Christmas ornament… But my challenge to myself is to find the little everyday things that I am thankful for.
Today and everyday I’m thankful for my yoga students. Even on the days when I feel like I don’t have it in me to teach, they show up with joy, and thankfulness, and no matter what I have going on mentally or emotionally, they are always happy to see me and share a practice with me. They make me feel needed and appreciated (especially now, when I need to feel needed and appreciated) I have so much gratitude for them…
I am thankful that the Winter Daphne right off my back patio is about to start blooming…
I am thankful that I have people in my life who meet me at sports bars to drink wine, and who bring my charming little crocs of homemade peanut butter
And I’m extremely thankful that my troll of a dog slept on the couch for six hours yesterday without doing anything bad or eating anything of my roommates while I was out teaching yoga, and networking. (Victory!) I’d be more thankful if he vacuumed the house while I was gone… but still thankful that I didn’t come home to some sort of messy destroyed carnage of furniture and chewed up skivvies…
I know I’ve posted this poem before, but it seems to fit into the theme, so I’m posting it again
I tell my students “Inhale, and fill your heart with gratitude”
I think of this, as I put the quinoa on the stove
the front door open,
I can hear
the summer rain.
And isn’t it just perfect?
I want to run, barefoot into the street
to fling open my arms to the sky…
instead I stand in the doorway,
licking my beet stained fingers
and think about the bounty and
the gifts of the earth
And I too, inhale.
So this is what it is to be blessed.