Updated: Jan 8
Today I am hoping to share all of the gratitude I have for YOU! Each time someone follows Brain Body Motion, I smile and feel warmth in my heart for the support. I hope to meet all of your needs as we continue forward, touching on subjects that are close to your heart and inspiring you to begin a daily practice or ritual of some kind. The love and gratitude I feel is like a circle. It began with our friendship, continued as you supported me in my business or had an interest in what I do, and then went on as I felt the love, support, and continued motivation to inspire you through my posts.
We just cannot live this life we have alone in isolation. The more love we feel, the more love we can share with one another in order to build a better world for ourselves and everyone else. The best way to feel that love if we are out of touch is to be grateful.
I'm going to share with you one of my favorite gratitude practices.. but it begins with a story of distress. In high school, I wanted to get good grades. Once I set my mind to it, I did! I woke up every day at 3:00 AM to study and studied every chance I got. I read books about how to study, I studied and helped others, and I pushed on.. until I burned out a bit. What did I forget about? Balance. Eventually, I even forgot about why I was pushing myself so hard.
This story repeated itself in my life. I would strive and strive to do well in something until everything else was a distant memory.. and I would crash... hard. It was easy to think, "why can't you just succeed? why can't you try harder?" So I did. I let my mind take the wheel. As many of you chronic meditators know, I was out of balance and constantly engaging my mind in order to keep going.
The thing is, our brains are outdated. They are like computer systems that keep us alive.. and that is their entire job. Our brains are not here to keep us happy, content or to help understand balance. That takes another level of skill.
Eventually, I discovered Feldenkrais, Yoga, Qi Gong, T'ai Chi.. I loved them all. I was astounded that I actually studied easier and felt better when I took more time to give myself back some of the energy I was rapidly burning to try to achieve. That led to an understanding that achievement might be our culture.. but I didn't need to be that way in order to live happily. In fact, I couldn't continue the viscous cycle of burning myself out day after day. I needed to repair, re-focus, re-align and adjust. And the biggest thing I needed to do? BREATHE... I put up signs everywhere. In my car, in my room, by the door... "BREATHE".. so I did. Sometimes what we think will take more time actually makes the hard things take much less time because we are running more efficiently.
I felt my life was so improved, I was happy a lot of the time. I found joy everywhere. Except.. in the morning. I disliked mornings. I would jolt awake, out of breath, trying to remember all of the things I had to do. That led me to thinking about all the yesterday's.. had I said something silly the day before? What would everyone think about me after that?? You can imagine that this process was not ideal. Sure, I felt better after my practice. But who wants to jolt awake?
Feldenkrais helped first. I was able to slow down and catch my breath in the morning and be present. However, I needed more. So finally, here comes the gratitude piece! Morning questions.. 1. What was great about yesterday? How did it feel when It happened? 2. Who reached out to me recently to say something kind or just to be present in my life? How did that feel? 3. What am I excited about today? 4. Who am I excited to see today and why? I re-focused. Every morning. These questions took five minutes, yet they changed a lot of how I felt going into my day. I looked for the opportunities to feel good instead of the reasons why I shouldn't. This practice continued automatically throughout my day. When something exciting happened, I would remember imagining it earlier in the morning. It made my experiences better. And don't forget about all the the surprises that happen throughout the day! When we focus on gratitude, we see it everywhere. The man in front of me in the grocery store who was kind to the cashier and made her smile, improving her day.. the lady who picked up my Son's toy in the store and handed it back to him, enjoying a smile along with him... I could even feel the gratitude radiating off of others. It became a deep feeling I could connect with.
What is your morning ritual or practice? I would love to hear from you! I am always trying out new ideas to see what resonates.
Much love and another huge thank you for all of your support! May we all support one another in this journey together.. may we all have more peace and prosperity.. and may your hears be filled with gratitude and love today. For you are not, and never have been alone. My heart is always here for you