21 Nov Thanksgiving 2018: Practicing Daily Gratitude
Greetings, all! Here in the US of A many people are gearing up for the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow. I’m cooking a family favorite – carrot casserole – and am VERY excited for the long weekend ahead. Each year around this time, Dr. Donnelly and I like to take the opportunity to post about the important of gratitude, giving thanks. While giving full weight to the historical legacy of the displacement of indigenous people that started our whole Thanksgiving tradition here in the States, I am still a big believer in giving thanks.
For today’s blog, I want to talk a bit about my daily practice of gratitude. As a pretty avid yoga practitioner, one of my favorite quotations (that’s actually posted on my office wall) is “Yoga begins right where I am. Not where I was yesterday or where I long to be.” What I love about this quotation, and why I use it in my daily practice, is that it helps me focus on being present. Whether I’m thinking about my yoga practice, or any other part of my life, I aim to think about where I am right now.
Another influential element of my yoga practice is the concept of ‘practice.’ Yoga is a practice, a process, it is constant work, there is no end date, no finishing line, it is a daily evaluation of my body and mind, and where I am at that moment. When thinking about my post on gratitude for today, this is where my thoughts wandered. Instead of saving my thanks, my gratitude, for one day a year, I aim to be thankful every day, to recognize my privilege, my hard work, my good fortune, the small joys that make up each day.
Though this has been a more personal post, I apply this practice to my work as well. I am grateful for my job, but with the ups and downs of any work situation, I try to be grateful for the smaller things, the little joys each day, that reminds me of where I am at that moment, and what I have to celebrate.
I’m aware that this philosophy might not resonate with everyone and I am in no way claiming that I succeed at this attitude every day. The beauty of thinking of it as a practice, is that I get to keep working at it. So when there are days when I am really frustrated or lack motivation, I can be present in those days and then approach my work anew the next day. Not thinking about where I was, or where I want to be, but where I am right in that moment.
Those are my thoughts on practicing daily gratitude. I hope that where ever this blog finds you, you are well and can take a little time after reading to practice your gratitude.