Reframing A Gratitude PracticeDec 06, 2022
‘Tis the season where there’s social peer pressure to be grateful.
Scrolling through my Instagram feed there are gratitude challenges, memes, and reels galore about how I should be grateful. Before I go any further, I will tell you that I have a daily gratitude practice, but it took time and patience to get me there.
(Listen to the episode for more about my process. )
Maybe you can relate—when I’m suffering, hurting, or feeling badly, being told to feel grateful that I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and all of my limbs does not deescalate my pain. In fact, sometimes this comes off as disingenuous.
That’s why this week's episode of the Luminous Recovery Yoga podcast is about reframing the importance of gratitude.
I want to distinguish a difference between gratitude and toxic positivity, or the “good vibes only” club. Toxic positivity often silences the pain by suggesting we ignore our suffering and replace it with positivity. This is not the same thing as gratitude.
Cultivating gratitude creates space for both/and thinking. We both acknowledge the suffering and see there is good available.
Gratitude helps to reframe our experience to see where good is present. If you’re like me, you can walk into any room and pick apart what’s going wrong.
Gratitude retrains our eyes to see something beyond the big dumpster fire. It can be true that there is both a dumpster fire, and it’s keeping us warm.
Cultivating a gratitude practice is similar to having a yoga practice. Doing yoga or gratitude once in a while is just fine. If too much time and space goes between it can feel hard to pick it up, and it doesn’t help when we’re in a pinch.
Having a practice, something that we do with regularity, makes it easier to conjure up feelings of gratitude when the metaphorical shit hits the fan. It’s a preemptive strategy, so that our brain will default to gratitude when we need it most.
I love taking this principle to the mat. Meister Eckhart says “If thank you is the only prayer you ever say, that is enough.” This week, try pairing your inhale and exhale with the phrase thank you. On the inhale say, “thank,” and on the exhale say, “you.” See how it feels in your body to build this short mantra into your breath.
I created an interactive PDF to get your juices flowing about gratitude. You can use this guide on its own or as an accompaniment to the episode. It contains some thoughtful questions for consideration and even has a gratitude practice you can try if you want to—zero pressure from me!
This Week's Episode
And once you’ve listened to the episode, consider joining me for a LIVE yoga class in-person or virtually. Come and find out how it feels to practice gratitude on your mat.
So, when the shit hits the fan you have goggles on!
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