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Everyday Life and Thoughts

That Moment of Genuine Gratitude

December 15, 2017

The below text is from yesterday morning, something I wrote straight after the yoga class I had taken. It was one of those moments when the right words to express what had until then been just a slightly uncomfortable feeling came to me and demanded to be written down straight away. So I sat down and typed everything on my phone, in the fear that I would lose the essence of what was, and posted it on Instagram. As Insta is not the most comfortable platform for longer reads, here is a repost.

I did a vinyasa flow class this morning. The type I tell myself I am not too keen on, the type that I feel requires too much effort. “It’s dark, cold and almost the Winter Solistice”, I have been telling myself (since start of November), “In order to take care and nurture myself I better to just yin and restorative classes. And maybe something with chanting. No vinyasa.”

However I have some free classes to use as I volunteer at my local studio in exchange of yoga classes (karma yoga!), and somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I needed to venture out my comfort zone to cheer myself up/give myself a good kick on the backside. See, I am a typical Cancer and being moody and withdrawn comes to me very easily.

So I walked to this vinyasa class, chosen because it was only 60 minutes, not the usual 75. I like to threat carefully, hedge my bets, and this tells you how much I was expecting to, well, not enjoy the class.

I lie down on two blocks to open up the upper body and make my way up to seated when the teacher walks in. After the usual “who is new to yoga/any injuries” questions, the first thing she says is to use the practise to look back at the year and reflect on the things and people we are grateful for, as “gratitude gives us perspective.”

BOOM! Whilst I always aim to be realistically aware and grateful for everything and every day, so often I have been struggling (and feeling bad for it) to really genuinely FEEL it. The feelings of sadness and hopeless often seem to take the upper hand, no matter how hard I try to chase them away. But here was the invitation to try again this morning, an opportunity to let things come up on their own – when I least expected it. And maybe it was because of that, because I truly had no expectations, this morning I had one of those practises that people talk about with glowing eyes: Everything came easy (although the practise was not physically easy), with joy and gratitude for my ability to move, in that space, in this time, at that very moment. And for everything else. It was the type of yoga practise non-yoga people probably think we have all the time, and those with a regular practise know does not happen very often.

It is a weird feeling when things come up on their own, when you observe without forcing it, yet being so fully aware. Yes it has been a hard year. But it has also been a year of conscious effort to figuring out my s**t even when I really did not want to, learn about the whats and whys, causes and consequences. Cleaning out the past and making space for the new, in all meanings of the term. Accepting that going forward sometimes means you first need to stop and even go backwards and that is ok.

We need to contract in order to expand, like the lungs contract and expand when we breath.

It’s been a year of horrible losses and bottomless sadness, reconnections, letting go – some things unwillingly, some because it just had to be done. It has also been a year of plenty of happy moments, deeper connections, and reconnections, and being incredibly lucky with everything I have had and everything I have.

And this morning, in that vinyasa class, when I least expected it, I feel genuinely grateful for it all.

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