The New Year is typically the time when people reflect on their lives and express gratitude while planning ahead for what’s next. While I love the opportunity to celebrate the holidays and spend time with my dear family and friends, I encourage you to develop an attitude of heartfelt gratitude each and every day.
According to the Law of Attraction, the energy you create broadcasts into frequencies. When these frequencies are released, the world resonates with it to determine what manifests into the measurable form in your life.
By cultivating a lifestyle of heartfelt gratitude for the blessings you have been given – you establish the power to receive many more with your “like” energy.
Take a few moments at the start of this year to think about what you are grateful for in your life before jumping into what’s next. Jot down the alphabet and use the letters as thought starters to fill in objects, experiences, thoughts, feelings, places, etc. you appreciate. Keep this list by your bedside and read it each morning as you wake up. Throughout your day think about what items you can add to your list and “ta-da”…. You have already kick started living a life of heartfelt gratitude. You will be surprised at how this simple action can change your thought process for the entire day… entire year… entire life.
Below you will find the start of my personal list. Jai!
Auspicious Beginnings: While the New Year is a wonderful time to celebrate and reflect on past accomplishments, you do not need a holiday to change your life. Savor the auspicious beginnings in your life year-round. All journeys start somewhere…. Start today.
Blankets: Warm, fuzzy, cozy, comforting. Blankets keep you warm on chilly nights and make you feel safe. Give me a blanket and I’m as happy as a clam.
Candles & Crisp Walks: Both alert my senses and bring me comfort. When I am feeling lost or confused, a simple pause to take in the salt in the air or watch the glow of a flickering fame quickly brings peace and serenity to my thoughts and reflections.
Dogs & Dancing: Ok, so maybe not together (or perhaps…) but both are equally instrumental. I appreciate my dog’s companionship and love. She has been my partner in crime for seven+ years and my love for her grows each day. She teaches me to be curious, playful, loyal, spontaneous, adventurous and sweet. Dancing is a form of expression and when I have no words for my feelings – sometimes all I need is a little music and movement to savor the moment.
Elephants: The gentle giants are worshipped in many cultures and the story of Ganesh warms my heart. I appreciate the message he brings as the remover of obstacles, but with the twist that he is also the one who places the obstacles before us. Ever since I was a little girl, elephants have been my favorite animals and after learning about Ganesh’s representation – their meaning and beauty continues to grow as a beloved creature near and dear to me.
Family & Friends: Let me be frank, I am blessed with friends and family. They are my heart and soul and live both near and far, but I can always count on them. They care for me and encourage me to be my best self. Sometimes busy schedules can get in the way of our face time, but I have endless gratitude for my loved ones.
Goals: They would not be called goals if the accomplishments could be done instantaneously. The process is a powerful one and with dedication, hard work and sometimes sacrifice – future visions can become reality. I set some major goals for myself last year and I have tremendous gratitude because I achieved all that I said I would. Write your goals down. Constantly read them. Push. 2012 – I’m coming for you!
Health: 2011 taught me to always respect and cherish my health. You never know what journeys life will bring and it is imperative to take care of yourself. My mum always told me to treat myself like a temple and it was not until my health escaped me for a period of time that I learned what a gift it is to wake up pain free and feeling “normal.” Life is a treasure. Please exercise, eat right, sleep, hydrate, and honor your mind and soul. If someone in your life is facing challenge – send healthy, positive energy and share your love.
It is what it is: Samtosad anuttamah sukhalabhah / From contentment unsurpassed happiness is obtained ~ Sutra Chapter II v. 42 One of my favorite sutras. Always work to grow, transform and evolve yourself but also strive to find peace in this very moment.
Je t’aime: Three little words that mean so much. Give love, express love, share love and absorb love. “Do all things with love.” ~ Og Mandino
Kula: I did not know you could have a family outside of your family, but 2011 proved me wrong. I gained sisters and brothers who took an incredible self-study program with me. They make me smile, wipe my tears, are my glorious cheerleaders and teach me that I am never alone. Life will continue to bring us on our own adventures, but my kula will always be right inside my heart.
Laughter: I believe that laughter is the greatest medicine. It has been proven that laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts your energy, diminishes pain and protects you from stress. If those are not enough reasons to chuckle – how about the fact that it is downright fun?
Meals with Loved Ones: Food is central to our well-being and it is no wonder that all cultures honor their cuisine as a special time to gather with those most important to us. Taking the time to nourish our bodies and spend moments with our own support group can create some of our best memories and experiences.
Noise & Music: “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” ~ Plato
Oxygen: Ah, the prana or life force. What a special gift we have been given to breathe. Without breath or oxygen, we would not be here. Essential to our life, I must thank oxygen for my beautiful life and for all the things I love in this world.
Patience & Perseverance: Well, I would be lying if I said I was the master at patience. When I have my mind set to something – I want it right away. Both yoga and life lessons have taught me that to achieve any goal in life; patience, perseverance, determination and focus are essential ingredients. Despite my love/hate relationship with patience – I respect the lessons it teaches me and for making my goals that much sweeter when they arrive.
Quiet: I have learned to respect and appreciate peace. As a constant go-getter, five minutes of simple quiet can change my world. My quiet time teaches me to be comfortable with my own thoughts and channel greater clarity for my personal purpose and passion.
Running: My “other” yoga. There is something about lacing up my shoes and hitting the trail that makes me feel strong, capable, and free. Running clears my head and proves that the only challenge standing in the way of accomplishing any obstacle (on and off the race course) is me. I am humbled. I am grateful for my physical strength, but even more grateful for the mental strength running has given me.
Sun, Stars, Snow: Sunshine is delicious, stars are exhilarating, snow is thrilling. Thank you, Mother Nature!
Trees: First and foremost, trees give us oxygen and air gives us life. Their grounding energy teaches me to respect and honor my roots while always reaching to the sky to achieve my full potential.
Universe: We as individuals give heart to the universe and higher power. “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” ~ Buddha
Volunteering: Giving back has always been important to me. In particular, two organizations found their way into my life over the last couple of years – Team In Training and Special Olympics. I signed on to both thinking I would help others, but the friends and life lessons I have been given have greatly surpassed anything I am capable of providing.
Water: I was born by the ocean. I’m an Aquarius. You can often find me swimming, floating, savoring, or splashing in it. Water is my soul. I am thankful to have unlimited access to clean water and for the existence it brings to this earth.
eXtract: Though somewhat difficult at times, I’m thankful for the ability to extract lessons from this crazy adventure called life.
Yoga: I could write a novel on this one, but I will try to be concise. I am grateful for the lessons, courage, strength, community, opportunities, passion, self-love, creativity, compassion, and connection to the higher power yoga has brought me. Endless gratitude to my kula, gurus, students, leaders before my time, and self for an amazing journey and practice.
Zen: Also commonly referred to as meditation, Zen is a conviction of self-discipline to cleanse the mind and establish self-awareness. While not always easy to achieve, the feelings and benefits of living in a Zen-like state can provide profound satisfaction, happiness and joy, undisturbed by gain or loss.