JoyFull Living by Louise Lavergne
Practicing an attitude of Gratitude
Thanksgiving is one of the most celebrated and travel-intensive holidays, and not just because of the turkey dinner. Most of us intuitively know the importance and joy of gathering from near and far and giving thanks. At this time we are reminded to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.” Meister Eckhart.
Yet, through all the hustle and bustle of traveling, preparing and cooking, stress often gets the best of us, and we end up exhausted, and sometimes by the end of the day we feel more resentful than grateful. When we get busy we often don’t make time for our “self-care” routines and we simply forget to breathe! Breathing is one of the most available and effective ways to restore calm in the body and mind. Let me remind you again about the Three Life-Saving Breaths: Taking three deep breaths at least 3 times a day can help allay some of the holiday stress. Go to www.JoyFull-living.com to see my video at bottom of the page. If you take time for self-care you have a better chance of staying healthy, happy and grateful. We’re all incredibly busy, so we need to schedule time for self-care. Add BREATHE to your “to do” list and consider cultivating an attitude of Gratitude as part of your 3 deep breaths. Now is a great time to make or review a gratitude list. Be sure to include things about yourself and all the people you are grateful for and attempt to share your gratitude with them. William James tells us: “The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” If you feel unappreciated, you can start by appreciating yourself and others more. Not just from an egotistical point of view but from a compassionate place of self-acceptance. Try practicing appreciating instead of judging yourself and others. “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Mother Teresa. When we accept ourselves and others for who they are and choose to be around people that respect and accept who we are, we can begin to live a more Joy-Full life. Any relationship or situation that requires you to do or be something other than yourself to “fit in” or “be accepted” is a drain on your life force.
A Daily practice of Gratitude:
The value of gratitude as a daily practice is inestimable.
- Take a moment to review your gratitude list.
- Think about all that is right about you and your journey NOW.
- Acknowledge the gift of You and the people in your life.
- Focus on something positive. Breathe deeply and gently. Relax your hands, feet and shoulders. Let your body be soft and relaxed. Allow each breath in gently.
- Remember that each breath you take is an amazing gift. (To think that an invisible substance is keeping you alive… Wow! ) Be in the wonder of the moment.
As we allow ourselves to soften and ease into gratitude an amazing thing happens: we feel good…not just about ourselves but about others. The more you practice the easier it becomes and the greater the benefits.
Finally, after you’ve had your dinner and you get to the “oh no, I ate too much!” part, remember that breathing also helps with your digestion. Remember to take time to Breathe in-Gratitude and live in-Joy.
© Louise Lavergne 2001-2012
www.JoyFull-yoga.com;www.JoyFull-living.com 899-0707 2012 Louise is an international inspirational speaker, coach, author, creator of JoyFull Yoga and JoyFull living coaching. She owns JoyFull Yoga LLC in Jacksonville where she offers private sessions and group classes. She has been practicing and teaching yoga and meditation for over 30 years. Email us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org