Easy Meditation with a Gratitude Twist

I came across a meditation early in my yoga journey, and it has proven to be quite useful in my personal healing and growth. I come back to it frequently, and it continues to be helpful in maintaining peace and harmony in my life, especially in my relationships.

 

The practice is simple, imagine that every single person in the world has been enlightened already. Yup…. everyone but you. You are the very last one. Each and every person has been sent back from The Land of Enlightenment to serve a purpose in the evolution of your consciousness. This includes your loved ones, your past loved ones, and even the checkout guy at Whole Foods. It doesn’t matter how significant or insignificant a person might seem, the interaction can serve a purpose. Take a few moments and explore how the relationships in your life are contributing to your growth, and to your healing, and to the shape of your character. Perhaps make a list of people in your life, past and present, and acknowledge how they have contributed to making you who you are. There is usually a beautiful lesson available from those who have delivered pain…so be open to exploring those experiences and refrain from allowing only negativity to blossom out of suffering.

 

At some point along the way I added a practice of gratitude to the meditation, offering an energetic thanks to the people in my life who have most certainly served as my teachers. In honor of Thanksgiving, I am shifting my energetic gratitude into a very clear, semi-public delivery of my heart on a plate, in an effort to thank and acknowledge those that have shaped my life and my character up to now.

 

A Huge, Ginormous, Heartfelt Mahalo to the following people…

 

My father, for teaching me how to be tough, how to forgive, how to be brave, and how to face challenge and eventually death with strength and grace.

My Mother, for being a constant example of kindness, for showing me what perseverance looks like, and for teaching me how to keep going when I think I can’t.

My sister, for never compromising what she wanted out of life, and for preserving our sense of family and tradition after it all fell apart. And for showing me what it looks like to stand up to someone or something…because my DNA didn’t include a backbone.

My nieces and nephews for bringing infinite amounts of joy into my life and for unlocking my ability to love unconditionally. There is nothing I love more than these 3 little ones.

My extended family in Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina, for showing me that despite our total wackiness and at times certifiable insanity, fitting out is way cooler than fitting in.

Terry, for teaching me how to let my guard down, how to be equal in a partnership, how to abandon self consciousness, and most importantly for always believing in me.

Aaron for teaching me how to be a grown up, for introducing me to love as well as every other emotion available to the human experience, and for teaching me how to let go.

My wonderful friends that have remained friends through thick and thin, thank you for showing me what it feels like to be in true friendship. I cannot adequately express how much this means to me.

The Berkeley clan, for introducing me to a lifestyle that strongly influenced who I am today.

The Homcys, for being an amazing, endless sources of inspiration and love. Endless.

Emi, Lauren, Liz, and Ishita, during our brief time together you helped remove my fear and unknowingly healed some significant damage from my past.

Lilly, for being my yoga soul sister, and for being a cheerleader and an endless source of confidence.

Bridget, for your infinite support and love. You are unlike any other being I have ever met, and you have influenced me more than you will ever know. I wish everyone could be exposed to a roll model like you.

My friends and neighbors on Harding Avenue and in Haleiwa, for shaping my idea of what real community looks and feels like. I will never settle for less.

The True Union Teacher Trainers and Trainees, for exposing me to dedication and vulnerability unparalleled by anything else I have ever been a part of. You have taught me how to be silly, how to lead, how to nurture, and how to support. Our memories together continue to be a source of infinite joy, and I am forever grateful. Really.

and thanks to every single yoga student I have ever taught, for reminding me that we are all unique, yet we are all the same. You have each contributed to the philosophy I live by every day, and for that I am forever grateful.

and to all the other yogis who have crossed my path for shaping my interpretation of yoga, and giving me permission to be less than perfect, and for teaching me that imperfection is perfection.

And everyone else I have not mentioned, thank you for being you. You have influenced me somehow in some way. We all influence each other, many times unaware of the impact we are making in the moment. There is a line in the Jackson Browne song, “For A Dancer” that I love and hold true to my heart, it goes like this:

“And somewhere between the time you arrive and the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive but you’ll never know”

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

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