Rays of Gratitude

My gratitude practice has been a little rusty in the past few months. Maybe it is part of the seasonal changes as days have more dark hours, even though I love the night skies. Maybe it is just part of the ebb and flow of life.

In an effort to get back on track I changed my eating habits back to intermittent fasting as it seems to keep me more focused and on a schedule that works for my life. My morning routine becomes more conducive to a morning yoga practice and a morning filled with less rush.

With starting back to intermittent fasting I also realized I needed to put time back into my gratitude practice. Each morning when I wake up I have to immediately think of things I am grateful for. It can be so simple, yet it changes my whole perspective on the morning. Yesterday the morning the sun was a beautiful and bold ball of golden orange in the sky and I felt the warm rays wrap around me, gratitude for the sun held me as Mellie and I continued our walk.

Yesterday was my first full yoga practice in weeks and it brought a mix of emotions to the surface. For years I focused hard on being positive, just getting through everything and rarely let myself feel the full range of emotion that comes with life. I tried hard to keep anything that wasn’t happy hidden below the surface. As I have been doing yoga, focusing on gratitude, and continuing to balance both my internal and external life I find that emotions well up and spill out at unexpected moments. Somehow yoga seems to cleanse things out that I am not even aware I had inside. As I continue to practice and grow as a person it feels as though all the different emotions that I held in over the years start to come out. This is a beautiful thing even when it does not feel that way in the moment. Because after I can feel the difference inside, space cleaned out and ready for new life and shining light even more on the people and things I am thankful for. While walking I thought back to a time in life, many years ago when I regularly felt creative and realized it was a time when I let myself feel more. In those years that I pushed my emotions down my creativity was lost. As much as I sometimes hate feeling, I realize now how grateful I am to be letting myself experience so many emotions. My creativity has awakened, I see the beauty in the world more clearly, and all the important things stand out much brighter.

Bringing me back to rays of gratitude, the rays that spill out when I stop to think of all I have to be grateful for. The sweet little spotted dog who is my constant companion, the fluff butt cats who drive me crazy and fill me with joy, the man who stays in my life through this journey, my mama who sees the best of me when I don’t and has been such an influence on my life, my friend who lives hours away and yet we are so close and continually encourage each other as we grow, the friends who I have little adventures and laughter with, the hug of sunshine each morning, the amazing sunsets that visit in the evenings, and the flowers that I enjoy on my walks. There is so much more to be grateful for, but these are my constants in an ever changing world.

When we focus on the gratitude we find so much more to be grateful for. That is what I want for my life and the life of all those people I love. A life filled with reasons to be grateful, even on the days it does not feel like there is anything to be grateful for. We each face challenges and will continue to, but we also choose how to handle those and to focus our energy on the things that bring us joy.

Much gratitude and love!

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