Gratitude overcomes pain, despair, grief, depression, poverty, and heartache.
You can wake up feeling as if your life has no purpose or meaning. But, you look out upon a clear blue sky, gaze on fields of colorful flowers, watch eagles glide on wind waves. Thank you flows from your heart, through your mind, and spills as a smile upon your face.
Like a healing balm, simple recognition of gratitude opens you to a world of possibilities and solutions to any and every problem that may arise.
When I declared 2015 a year of gratitude, my heart was filled with a sense of abundance and limitless potential. Now, two-thirds of the way into this year, the feeling remains. I may be over-extended with my spending and I haven’t yet achieved that bountiful on-line business promised by too many on-line courses.
Still, I’m grateful I have a job to pay for my spending. I’m grateful I do help people through my work and my writing. I’m grateful I can look out on a beautiful bay and snow-capped mountains. I’m grateful for my husband and the love we share.
One of the results of this year of gratitude was the creation of The Gratitude 100, A Simple Daily Practice for Fulfillment, Balance, and Happiness. I offered this as a free daily practice for several months. Participants received daily e-mails with a question to stimulate a gratitude response.
Over twenty people signed up and participated. But, as I did the practice, I found the daily e-mails were problematic. Several people were unable to keep up with the daily practice. Others, like me, found ourselves answering several questions on one day. But, we completed it.
To make the practice more accessible, I expanded it as a downloadable journal with 100 gratitude inspiring questions and space to write answers at your own leisure and need. When I finished this second version, I thought the Gratitude 100 project was finished.
But, as I’ve worked on my book about mindfulness, gratitude features as the essential partner in a dance of consciousness. Gratitude 100 continues to call out to expand into a daily journal book. Especially since I’ve found there’s a world of interest in practicing gratitude.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve participated in the Chopra Center’s Manifesting Grace through Gratitude, a 21 day on-line meditation experience. Oprah Winfrey introduces the theme of each 20 minute session. Deepak Chopra explains the theme in relation to grace and gratitude, provides a centering thought, and a Sanskrit mantra to repeat during the 10 minute meditation. Soft music plays throughout the session.
The commentary and meditations are thought provoking and provide another way to view the power of gratitude. This experience is free to participate in now but access to each meditation disappears after nine days. After that time, the program is available as a paid program by CD or as an app.
So, if you want to energize your super power gratitude practice with a deeper understanding of grace, you can still join Manifesting Grace through Gratitude.
Or if you want to simply apply gratitude in your daily life, explore The Gratitude 100 right now.
Yesterday, July 18th, was our second year anniversary of living in Homer, Alaska. I’ve shared some of our experiences in past blogs. But, since I’ve been on a minor hiatus of posting, I felt this would be a good way to return to consistent communication. Every now and then, I’ll share reflections written during our first few months acclimating to Homer. Join me in this journey down memory lane.
I’m sitting on the floor on top of our thin mats and sleeping bags in our new tiny bedroom. Although this apartment is much smaller than our Hopi home and requires storing more furniture than we originally planned, it has a charm both of us like. It does feel like home. I meditated a brief time this morning and quickly heard the sound of silence.
We do love Homer, people are friendly, the arts community is welcoming. Met the executive director of the Homer Arts Council yesterday at the Street Art Fair. She didn’t introduce herself as we talked, but told me to call her if I wanted to story tell and gave me her card. The Council has a new Artist Registry, she told us to sign up. The art work, knitting, jewelry, egg carvings, tie-dyes in the Street Art Fair booths were all well done and some quite exquisite.
Grocery shopping is a challenge. Food costs almost twice what we paid in Arizona, and the fruit not as good looking. But, I did get a bag of cherries, some juice, frozen vegies and fish.
Went by the Department of Motor Vehicles and found out I have to take a written test, so I’m reading the book. It’s really a good review, although a lot of drivers don’t follow the rules.
I’m so happy to be off the highways, the curves were killing me, particularly descending curves. The drive from Anchorage to Homer was interesting. It included a long 50 mile drive weaving around a body of water called Turnagain Arm, a narrow branch of Cook Inlet.
I do feel we are at home. Work may be a challenge, but I think it will be o.k., once our bodies get adjusted to this new climate and these daylight nights.
I’m grateful to be here.
Begin your yoga practice with Yogasteya
Have you longed to enjoy the healthful benefits of yoga you’ve heard so much about but feel you’re too large, too overweight, too old? Well, you’re not. Yoga is for any type of body.
Dianne Bondy, founder of Yogasteya, gently guides you into a hatha yoga practice that fits your body’s unique needs.
Dianne was just three years old when her mother began practicing yoga. As her mother relaxed in the poses she bonded with her children. This foundation lead to the practice Dianne now shares with people around the world.
Dianne and her husband, Alan, began the on-line classes, Yogasteya, in 2012. Yogasteya means connection, community, expression, and love, the qualities Yogasteya classes communicate. The Bondys knew many people who wanted a way to fit yoga into busy schedules. These people were a diverse group, many not fitting the media thin model image of a yoga practitioner.
I feel like Yoga has become this exclusive club that not everybody’s invited to. It’s slowly changing though. I am all about supporting people who have been pushed to the margins in society in general and in the yoga community specifically. I’m all about flooding the media, especially social media, with images of all people doing yoga. Dianne Bondy
Yogasteya aims to help people see themselves on the mat.
For less than the cost of two cups of espresso, the monthly Yogasteya membership fee, offers a wide variety of class options. From five to sixty minute sessions, beginners to advanced, emphasis on backs, core, standing poses, and movement flows, presented by Dianne and guest teachers.
I am all about making yoga more accessible to a larger audience by keeping it affordable and available. I want to support non conforming bodies and ideas. Yoga is not exclusive.
To make yoga even more accessible, Dianne has partnered with Amber Karnes to offer a new five week course called Yoga for All. This course, for teachers and students, teaches how to adapt yoga asanas for nonconforming bodies.
We’re all about changing the conversation around who yoga is for, what yoga looks like, and who gets to share this practice.
So, if you’ve been longing to see what yoga can do for your body and inner spirit, check out Yogasteya today.