I woke up this morning feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Of course I am grateful for the usual things: the beautiful place that I live in, my warm bed, the food in my kitchen, my healthy body, my loved ones … But I also had a new realization. I am actually grateful for the painful events that occurred in my life last month.
In last month’s Inspirations I wrote about “Change.” As fate would have it, the topic turned out to be a very fitting one for me when I was unexpectedly terminated from the yoga studio that I had taught at for 6 years, a place that had felt like my second home. Compounding my initial feelings of shock, betrayal, and deep hurt was the challenge of facing the major adjustments that this would present in my life and career. Change can be scary and oftentimes it is very unwelcome, arriving when we least expect it and shaking up our secure world. An anonymous quote states: “God comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable.”
This “disaster” has forced me to step out of my comfort zone, to exert myself in new ways, and ultimately to recognize my vast potential. If this event had not occurred, I probably would have remained in my secure space, never reaching higher. Because we only see the world from our limited vantage point, it can be very disappointing when things don’t work out the way that we wanted or planned. But perhaps what seems like a hardship now is really just preparation for the next step in our personal growth. Perhaps what seems like a loss is really just clearing space for the next big thing to arrive in our lives. This realization transformed my attitude from one of dismay to one of acceptance.
Feeling the tremendous outpouring of love and support from my students this past month and finding new doors opening for me at every turn has really caused me to remember:
The Universe does not always give us what we want, but it always gives us what we need.
Instead of holding on tightly to the shattering “self” that I thought myself to be, I just let go, trusting that whatever happens will be for my own highest good and learning. As I have practiced relaxing into life instead of trying to fix it, my outlook has shifted from mere acceptance into deep gratitude. I am grateful for everything, even the challenges, for through them I have come to know myself and my Dharma (life purpose) in a more profound way.
With Thanksgiving coming up at the end of the month, I think that November is an apt time to practice gratitude. Gratitude involves a subtle shift in perspective. Instead of focusing on what you wish was different, you turn your attention to your many blessings. It is not about changing what is, but rather about having a willingness to trust that everything is as it should be. Give thanks for both the blessings currently in your life, as well as those yet to come.
From my great Soul to your great Soul,
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond. ~ Rumi
Playlist: 1 Hour Yoga Flow
Crazy Heart - Bahramji & Maneesh de Moor
Cosmopole - Cantoma
Elixir for Sunsets - Phobos
Africa - Cirque du Soleil
Porcelain - Moby
Om Narayana - Wade Imre Morissette
Jai's Dub Shack - Jai Uttal
Miracle - Afterlife
The Nomad - Niraj Chag
Imagine - Jack Johnson
Pure Essence - Maneesh De Moor