A wise woman (my beautiful mother) once told me that relationships are like small plants; they need the appropriate conditions, soil, and to be watered regularly in order to develop strong roots and to blossom beautifully. Although in the context of that discussion, we were contemplating our relationships with others, I have come to find that the most important relationship we have is the one with our self. All other relationships are simply reflections of the one with our self. Since we all desire loving relationships, consider self-love to be the seed that we plant in our hearts. Last month, I wrote about being present as a tool for cultivating self-love. So, let’s consider the practice of being present as a vital ingredient in the soil, creating the nourishing foundation for the seed of self-love. Gratitude, then, is the water that needs to be poured onto self-love daily in order for it to fully blossom and share its beauty with the world.
Last month, I invited you to practice pausing for a moment to be present and mindful. This month, I invite you to practice pausing to reflect on and express gratitude. Done daily, just like watering a plant; the benefits will be readily evident. Gratitude can be reflected upon and expressed at any time of day or night. It can be as simple as waking up each morning and saying to yourself, “I am thankful for this day.” Gratitude can be practiced when you look into the eyes of your child, “I am thankful for my beautiful child.” Gratitude can be practiced at work; “I am thankful to have a job that I enjoy/pays my bills/provides for my family.” And, I challenge that gratitude can even be practiced while sitting in traffic; “I am thankful to have the physical health and capacity to be driving a car; I am thankful to have this time to listen to music; I am thankful for this opportunity to practice patience.”
Gratitude can be expressed at any time, because it only needs to be expressed within our heart and mind; if appropriate, expressing these feelings of gratitude to others is wonderful but is not necessary. In cultivating this attitude of gratitude, you will find that your own energy will begin to shift; not only will you start to feel better, lighter, and greater joy, but others will also begin to take notice of this energy shift within you. As you nourish your self-love, the benefits will be reflected all around you.
I would like to conclude by expressing my gratitude to you. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, and to share your energy with Shakti Vidya Yoga. May you gain knowledge of the Divine light within yourself, and then shine that light onto others.