Inner Reflections
September 18, 2022

A Life Of Gratitude

“The more grateful I am the more beauty I see.”
~ Mary Davis

Gratitude is not cultivated by giving thanks alone but is an accumulation of practices including joy and acceptance. I created this new 3 class series “A Life of Gratitude” to open your heart, mind and body with dynamic movement, creative flows and inspiration. During each thematic 20-minute power yoga practice you will build upon the practice of gratitude while learning about the important roles joy and acceptance play in helping you create A Life of Gratitude.

Researcher Brene Brown discovered that there was not one person who described themselves as joyful who did not also have an active practice of gratitude. Joy arises from our willingness to express appreciation and thankfulness on a daily basis. Brene Brown says, “it’s not joy that makes us grateful. It’s gratitude that makes us joyful.” Practicing gratitude invites joy into our lives but many of us have mistaken happiness for joy. 

Joy occurs in small moments of presence throughout your day – the appreciation you feel when you take the first sip of coffee in the morning, an embrace your child gives you unexpectedly, the warm feeling when a stranger holds the door open for you. Joy is simpler. Joy, as David Steindl Rast writes is, “the root of gratefulness.” During this 3-part series we will begin by remembering the power of joy as we then transition into the important role of acceptance. 

When practiced together, acceptance and gratitude, have been shown to reduce burnout and promote resiliency. A practice of acceptance invites us to remain engaged with the whole spectrum of what it means to be human and through embodied presence learn to see how our current circumstances give us the opportunity for growth and expansion no matter how beautiful or challenging they might be. 

Acceptance invites you to appreciate and honor exactly where you are in each moment of your life and throughout your day. Through acceptance we maintain embodied presence, not avoiding life but accepting all of life. This keeps us out of spiritual bypass and through the experience of the fullness of life, gratitude and appreciation emerge. As Jon Kabat-Zinn so famously wrote, “You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf” and acceptance is the way we surf the many fluctuations of life with grace, presence and appreciation. 

We end our 3-part journey by asking, “what gets in the way of your gratitude?” The reality is we all know the science of gratitude at this point. The media and clinical research have made it clear that gratitude works. So if you know this, what’s holding you back? Learning to acknowledge what impedes your gratitude is the first step in finding a new road ahead. Once acknowledged, you can move beyond these mental limitations and open to the healing benefits of this medicinal life practice. Because ultimately, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” ~ JFK

Make sure to experience fully my new series “A Life of Gratitude” streaming on Inner Dimension TV starting this Wednesday!

In the meantime, below are other recommended practices focused on gratitude:

Meditation Start Your Day

By Lauren