Happy Thanksgiving

No matter how hard our lives or what our problems, each of us are infinitely blessed in ways big and small, just by the breath moving in and out of our bodies and our awareness of it all.

So, as Thanksgiving slips by, be in it – and enjoy it. And as Christmas nears, and our thoughts become about wants and wishes, let's remember the day where we let gratitude overwhelm us... and just how wonderful it felt.

Coming Undone and Redone

via Pinterest
There are days when I think I'll snap. Break. Crumble. Fall apart, with all the pieces evaporating right up into the air.

What triggers it is usually minutiae. Tiny little bits of things, heaped onto one another until they seem the size of a skyscraper. One by one eating up a long fuse until it reaches dynamite at the end. I have a moment, feel embarrassed, scold myself and wonder: how did I end up so...angry?

Usually, as I try to regroup, re-center and re-evaluate why I feel so unbalanced, I think about how often I've been on – or off of – the yoga mat. About whether or not I've done any pranayama (breath control). About whether or not I've laid down in savasana and surrounded all things above and beneath me.

The answer today is: I have not done any of that recently. Why? A million excuses come to mind, but, really, there are none that are quite good enough. Without yoga – without that groundedness of warrior pose and surrender of savasana – I will break, again and again, like a tree who has had its branches cut again and again. But with yoga? With the breath letting go of worries and trials and the body softening and softening? I may bend, but, no matter what, I will never break.



What do you love about you?

Say I pressed "start" on a stopwatch. Like, right now, and twenty seconds is all you get. Could you list ten things you love about you?

Here's what happened when I gave it a go. Kind, genuine, smart, great smile

Count them up: that's only four. FOUR. Average that out, and it took me five seconds to come up with each one. Five seconds apiece, and I've known myself more than 30 years. Why on earth wouldn't the adjectives roll off my tongue with fluidity and grace and assurance?

Then it occurred to me: I should see if what I dislike about myself would turn out any different. Again, I hit the stopwatch, and out came: procrastinator, needs more patience, speak up, be braver, not goal-oriented, too passive. Six. Which adds up to two more dislikes than likes. (Not to mention that on the tip of my tongue was number seven, "daydreams too much.")

Isn't that kind of sad? And, more importantly, isn't something wrong with this picture? Too see if anything would change, I did the same thing again but about my husband. My results? The opposite. Plenty of likes rolled out, and I stammered through the things I wish he'd improve. The fact that I could see him clearly but not me makes me wonder if we're trained to look for the best in others but the worst in ourselves, like we're the old kitchen or bathroom of the house, a DIY project that needs remodeling. Is this behavior what all those New Year's resolutions have taught us?

I can't help but think it's time to switch things around. Perhaps, as the holidays and 2015 fast approach, we need to forget about how we think we need to change. Perhaps, instead, we should think about what we love often enough that, in twenty seconds – or even ten – our beautiful qualities spill out with ease and confidence and in great numbers. I wonder...I wonder if we'd be happier. If we'd love more overall.
And that includes you. :)