A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind Body Services:
It is during our most difficult moments, when we may feel like we can go no further, endure no more pain, suffer in silence no longer, and just stand in the disbelief that is our life, that we are given the greatest opportunity to become and learn that which we need the most. What we seek, we can provide, but it is often fraught with great agony and suffering, and usually more so, it is a long, long, path of resistance, fighting (with others and ourselves) and agony. In my own life, I can recount certain movie-frame snapshots in time that feel ingrained in my mind, as if they are residue and “proof” that I have served my time and deserve my accomplishments and joys. And how beautiful it feels to exclaim such a pronouncement, but in truth, I know my mind will certainly try to convince me, quite quickly, that I don’t deserve to rest and pause, as I have more work, more jobs, more goals and more responsibilities to complete and cross off my checklist before I can even rest and pause.
BUT, when I can mindfully pause at this junction, I know that a pause and time for gratitude, reflection, and compassion is exactly what I need. Pausing into a time for Gratitude, sets the mind to be more resilient to the regular onslaught of negative emotions and habits, welcomes in more positive internal dialogue within self, offers a deeper connection to others and reminds one of their inherent value as an individual and human being. It is grounding and reality based. Through a regular daily practice of gratitude, we have the capacity to wire into our brain, new circuitry and paths of resilience, well-being, and positive felt sensations, with the ability to review, replay and ingrain them into a place of familiarity, safety and knowingness…and truly in such a way that the prompt of Gratitude practice as a action, just becomes a felt sense of knowing, rather than naming, and of feeling, rather than labeling.
Gratitude = knowing and feeling and thus becoming….
When I lead my yoga and meditation classes, I ask my clients to name something of gratitude as an integral prompt in closing out my classes. For some, it is may be new and different, but it may also be the only opportunity presented to them during their entire week or month, of a shift in their attention and focus from inner ruminations to outer compassion.
Challenge yourself to try out this practice. Begin wherever you are, use a journal, an app on your phone or just internal dialogue….
1-Name something of gratitude for yourself in this moment
2-Name something of gratitude for someone else who helps keeps you going on a daily basis
3-Name something of gratitude for a challenge that has come before you, or for someone who seems to be causing you great difficulty
4-Name something of gratitude for the world in general
I hope you can share it, show it, and shine…