The Complexity of Gratitude

As the holiday season rolls in again and we cozy up for another shift, gratitude seems to be the topic we’re contemplating. The energies are swirling around- the deep need to belong to ourselves first continues to surface as we move into a space of reflection. Depending on what we’ve experienced in our lives, the holidays can conjure up feelings of extreme joy and celebration, or sadness and loneliness. It seems that this time of the year we have to work a little harder to keep our bearings.

In last week’s gentle flow class with reiki and sound healing at NU Movement, we explored the idea that gratitude is often something we think we need to express for things that come in to us, but we don’t dig deeper in understanding how it was cultivated. Because so much of what comes in is our manifest- and the energy that we’ve given out coming back to us, we’re really the beginning and the end of the cycle of gratitude.

We spoke about how we don’t give ourselves enough credit to the idea that what we’re so thankful for is often our own creation. Through our thoughts, actions and perceptions we are creating our own reality that is continually coming back to us, time and time again. Almost like a boomerang. What does it look like to be happy with what we have right now? How does that ripple out into the universal construct of energy exchanges find its way back to us?

It is said that the smile you send out, returns to you.

I was reminded of the second limb of yoga- the Niyamas, or our inner observances. The 2nd of the 5 Niyamas is referred to as “Santosha” – which literally translates to contentment, happiness sought from within, or joy. In essence, it means acceptance of what isThe idea that when you delight in all things, you magnetize bliss. The state of inner contentedness does not mean that things aren’t happening around you but rather that you are bearing witness to them,  not internalizing them. This idea of walking lightly through challenges, obstacles and changes is easier said than done, isn’t it? That seems to be why we come to the mat again and again- simply to practice witnessing our own divine light. You know…. the one that sometimes blinds us, and other times evades us.

Here are my deepest wishes for you this holiday season:

That you may find the kind of peace that comes from the cultivation of self-awareness.

That you are able to connect with your Santosha- to begin to tend lovingly and sweetly to the joyful and brilliant space inside of you.

That you may become a mirror of support for how much we are capable of for others.

That you may become a rebel- viewing yourself as divine, perfect and whole in a space where we are taught we are not enough.

Let’s enter 2020 by returning to ourselves.


Em of M&M

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