On Gratitude and Thanksgiving

Today I’m grateful for change.

As my teacher shared with our small yoga class this morning, recognizing and having gratitude for aspects of life, people or things allows the gift to bear fruit again; we get to re-experience that sense of wonder, whatever it is, with more vibrancy and brilliance than we did the first time around.

A year ago, I’d have to say I was pretty grateful for change, too. I was starting a new job in Chattanooga and embarking on my yoga teacher training, an experience that contributed greatly to my heart awakening and ability to see clearly for what felt like the first time. Almost exactly a year ago, or on Black Friday, I stumbled into a man, a faint acquaintance then, while riding my bike across the bridge. I had no idea how he would not only affect change in my life but help me open my heart even more.

I have gratitude for openness, awareness, community, courage and inspiration. Without these characteristics, and the wonderful spectrum of people and events that bring them into my life, I wouldn’t be capable of the dramatic and clearing changes that have brought me here thus far.

This year I’ve uncovered new skills in pottery. I gave up my 9-to-5 job and now work from home, doing what I love, as a freelance writer and editor. I moved to a major city in the sub-tropics that lacks seasons but boasts diversity in all of its populations.

Ahhh...diversity.

Ahhh…diversity. Or lack of seasons.

I traveled to new places and met new family. I connected with old friends in new ways and found deeper relationships with those dear to me. I lived (and still do) on a bus and in warehouse, without a traditional kitchen, shower or hot water. I visited my sister in South America.

My beautiful sister Wendy and her husband, Fer, in Argentina!

My beautiful sister Wendy and her husband, Fer, in Argentina!

I lost most of my luscious locks and embraced being bald. I uncovered and fell in love with the discipline of my home yoga practice.

Bald girls have all the fun!

Bald girls have all the fun!

I held my grandmother’s hand and talked to her on her last few days of life. I took to heart the wisdom lessons she and so many others imparted me with.

Three women I love—my Mom, Grandmom and Aunt Jan, Christmas 2012

Three women I love—my Mom, Grandmom and Aunt Jan, Christmas 2012

Most importantly, I started to listen to my own inner wisdom, my voice. To trust the process; that the best is yet to come, no matter the obstacles that lie ahead.

If I didn’t believe in and honor change, I wouldn’t be where I am. If I hadn’t left a Shadow Yoga workshop at the right time last year on Black Friday, I never would have run into Jeff, my partner, collaborator, boyfriend, and support, who brought me here today.

My own breath, my own body, my own motivation and direction, guidance and inner wisdom STUNS me, absolutely BLINDS me with its brilliance and brightness. I’m grateful for the changes necessary to start seeing, if only a glimmer, of what I’m truly capable of achieving.

Happy Thanksgiving! I’ll be soaking up sunshine on the beach.

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