By Cheryl Hansen
As Yoga Pod celebrates its one-year anniversary, the word “gratitude” has been buzzing about the studio—within classes, with sticky notes on the walls and in the chit-chat that takes place before and after classes. So naturally, my yoga teacher suggested today that we incorporate more gratitude into our practice—our day, week and so on. It’s not a bad idea. Despite the seemingly endless potential of the human brain and the four-lane, 75-mile-per-minute highway of thoughts cruising through at any given moment, it is impossible to feel grateful and grumpy at the same time.
We’ve been trying for years to instill a sense of gratitude in our children. It makes me crazy when we do something special together and before we even make it to the car, my 6-year-old is trying to find out what’s next. “What you meant to say,” I point out as gently as my gritted teeth will allow, “is ‘Wow, that was so fun. Thank you, Mom and Dad!’”
We even created a gratitude jar last year, filling it with notes throughout the year about people and experiences for which we were grateful. We read through them all on New Years Eve. Ironically, I’m not sure my sleepy and somewhat distracted kids fully appreciated the effort. I, on the other hand, was astounded by all we’d experienced throughout the year.
It’s easy, of course, to feel gratitude when things are going your way. My kids roll their eyes these days every time we get a good look at the mountains because they know I’m about to exclaim, “Look at that! It’s so pretty! Do you believe we live in Colorado? We are so lucky!”
It’s far tougher to be thankful when you find yourself fielding more than your fair share of curve balls. But it is possible. One day last week I was feeling really overwhelmed and more than a little resentful. “It’s not fair,” I thought. “Well, no,” I responded. “But the good news is that you got this. YOU can handle it.”
I still felt overwhelmed, of course (and maybe a little concerned that I was having full-on conversations with myself). But that small slice of gratitude afforded me the feeling of empowerment I needed to just dig in and work through it all. I did handle it.
For that, I was very grateful. Gratitude, it seems, begets gratitude. Congratulations, Yoga Pod. And thank you.