Struggle makes you a better person. Trust me. I speak from lots and lots of experience here. Injury. Illness. Imbalance. Pure inability. All have had more to teach me on my yoga mat than any teacher I’ve ever had (and I’ve had some really, really good ones). While I’m still waiting to be enlightened enough to actually feel thankful while in the grips of my pain, fear or frustration, because of my yoga practice, I am aware that I will (eventually) feel grateful for each of my struggles. This awareness makes me patient. It makes me persistent. It allows me to accept my inability – for now. It's not surprising that I am glimpsing this same strength and resilience in myself off my mat as well.
Yoga teaches us the importance of staying clear-eyed and keenly observant. Without these "new eyes," you could miss all the tiny changes that make life wonderful.
With time and practice, regularly searching our experiences for moments that make us smile can create a happier life. Taking a moment several times a day to reflect on such moments can leave us feeling profoundly grateful – some would even say blessed. Mindfulness like this (no matter the method you choose to treasure it) can dramatically shift our experience of our lives – leaving us feeling hopeful and intentional as we look forward to tomorrow.
The perfect moments that pepper our lives are not something we earn or deserve. They are gifts. They are hope. They are inspiration. Because of the sometimes long stretches between such moments they are surprises, but not wholly unexpected. Each perfect moment that we're lucky enough to have serves as a promise (guarantee, actually) that another will happen one day.
Most people understand gratitude as an emotion. We feel gratitude on the heels of something good happening to us – when we get a surprising bonus at work or the sun shines on our birthday. Better yet, we feel grateful when we’ve dodged a bullet – narrowly missed being hit by a speeding car or ...