Over the past month in my yoga classes I've been talking a whole lot about gratitude. For me, teaching about gratitude all month long every November has become an important personal tradition, which I started about 3 years ago.
I take this whole month to strategically remind myself about how powerful gratitude can be. It's almost like a grand scheme that I've set up for myself to make sure that I remember.
I've noticed that this reminder usually comes right when it is needed. Just when my gratitude practice is running weak November arrives and I'm reminded to pause, recharge and start anew. I dust off my notes and books on gratitude, and begin to steadily write on my gratitud journal again.
As reactivity would have it, once upon a time I used to get really upset at myself whenever I realized that I had done something "wrong" - like ignoring my gratitude practice for a while.
But to establish gratitude habits - or any habit for that matter - requires meeting yourself where you're at with non-judgement and acceptance.
So as November arrives, rather than judging myself for an impoverished gratitude practice, I've started to welcome the opportunity for a fresh start.
So, no matter how much of a gratitude practice we've had or haven't had, today is a starting point for us all.
Today we get to meet ourselves where we're at, with non-judgement and acceptance, and we get to start anew.
May you all have a lovely thanksgiving celebration, wherever you may be.
With a deep bow of thanks-giving to you,
P.S. I share with you a little inspiration for your gratitude practice:
"From the smallest things on up, even the cup of tea we drank for breakfast depended upon many sentient beings in order to be made. Similarly, if we think about the inhabitants of this world, our food, clothing, beds, possessions, houses – in brief, anything at all that we might need is produced through the effort and difficulties of many sentient beings. To talk about it from a broader perspective, it is primarily the outer natural world – the plants, forests, and all the other things made up of the four elements – that supports our lives, makes it possible for us to breathe, gives us good health, and so forth. They sustain us. We should be grateful to them." ~ H.H. The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa