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Practicing Gratitude

Updated: Mar 10

When you swing your legs over the side of the bed and your feet touch the earth in the morning, feel gratitude for the earth beneath you. The same earth is in your bones and gives you stability and a body. When you get a drink of water or brush your teeth, feel gratitude for the water that cleanses you and feel it washing through your body, allowing for fluidity and movement. When you walk or look outside, feel gratitude for the Sun that gives us light and heat and feel the internal heat that warms your body from the inside. Take a deep breath and feel gratitude for the air we breathe and share with every living being and for the plants that give us oxygen. Feel the space around you and feel gratitude for the space that allows you to take form and be alive.

As I begin my morning meditation, I assess the state of my body, mind and breath. I make a mental note of pain, tension, and discomfort. I notice my thoughts and emotions. I notice the quality of my breath. Then I take a moment to give thanks for this body I inhabit, for the 5 senses I have to experience the 5 elements and the world I live in, and for the breath that sustains me without me ever thinking about breathing. Even if your body is not “perfect” or if some of your senses are not working, there is something to be grateful for each day. Pause and feel gratitude and see how it changes your day.

Many of my students ask me about meditation or even seem surprised when I say I meditate every day. Especially from women – given how we are expected in this society to keep be “do-ers” – always taking care of everything and everyone and there doesn’t seem to be space for quiet and “non-doing”.

However, in traditional cultures, women took time for themselves – at least once a month. Moon lodge. Sweatlodge with other women….

In studying my own ancestral culture, I was told that women’s spiritual journey is inward. We contain the ability to nurture life within us and in that way are connected with all mothers everywhere. We are part of the great sacred mystery of life.

While a man’s spiritual journey is outward – they would go on Vision Quest to find their connection with the Universe.

In this way, it should be easier for us to learn to meditate. We are already deeply connected to the Universe and all that is. If we take the time to sit and reflect. To quiet the mind, it is not hard to access that spiritual connection to all living beings. This is not only a gift to ourselves, but it is essential to acknowledge this connection if we are to care for and love each other. It is perhaps the greatest gift we can give back to the Universe. To be still.

I invite you to stop DO-ing and start BE-ing.


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