Gratitude Changes Everything

Yoga goes beyond the mat, and we can begin to live out our yoga using the Yamas and Niyamas, which are yoga's guidelines to a blissful life. One of the Niyamas is Santosha, contentment. Contentment means falling in love with your life. All the pieces of it... 

We can sometimes get to a place of "If only..." or "I wish..." What this does is takes us out of contentment and moves us to a place of longing with a grass is greener mentality. This mindset takes us further and further away from our own happiness. 

This basically comes down to our expectations. What expectations do you bring to a situation? Do you have a vision of how things should be or how you want them to be, and then when they don't go that way, all hell breaks loose? I often have to remind myself the difference between fantasy and reality. Many times we have a vision of what we think something will be like whether it's parenting, a job, marriage, etc., and when it ends up to be different than what we expect, we become disappointed or frustrated. 

I recently went on a short vacation with my husband and daughter. We have traveled with her before, but this was the hardest and most stressful getaway thus far. She is mobile and oh so curious with a little bit of sassiness. I was on edge for the beginning of the trip, which wasn't pleasant for anyone. However, it served as a good learning opportunity. 

One of my teachers, Deborah Adele, talks about how we can trace all of our disturbances back to ourselves. If we're annoyed, angry, or irritable, we have to look to ourselves. On what should have been a nice weekend away, I was more stressed than relaxed, but why? Because I brought my expectations to the situation. I wanted my daughter to sit still in a restaurant or stop crying during the long car ride or sleep well in a place that was unfamiliar, and when she didn't do these things, I got frustrated. 

About halfway through the trip, I told my husband, enough. I needed to relax and not take everything so seriously. I needed to be grateful. 

Gratitude changes everything. I wholeheartedly mean and believe this. If we can move from a place of longing to a place of gratitude, we can begin to fully enjoy the present moment. 

There is science that shows gratitude can shift not only our perspective, but change our brain. 

Check out these articles:

The Science Behind Gratitude (and How It Can Change Your Life)
Gratitude Health Benefits
4 Science-Backed Benefits of a Gratitude Practice

For the next 30 days, I will be doing a gratitude challenge on facebook and instagram. Every day posting three things I am grateful for in my life. 

I invite you to do the same using the hashtag #gratitudepractice and #muddywatersyoga

Namaste.