By Cathy Bratka

Lately I have been trying to focus on the practice of gratitude, and yes, it is a PRACTICE.

The practice is as follows: wake up in the mornings and mindfully take your thoughts to all the things you are grateful for and do your best to carry this through your day. This is more difficult than it seems as I know my mind would prefer to linger over all the other “stuff” in my life…my “to do” list…work…chores…family…pets…and the list goes on and on. But I find that if I set the intention to let go of that thought process and instead focus on the gratitude I carry for all of the wonderful things in my life, not only do my mornings seem more bearable but my day becomes this beautiful way to experience all those things that so enrich my life.

I have heard that gratitude can make what little you have into more than enough and I find that to be true, because on days when the good stuff seems very thin and difficult to find, my practice of gratitude makes the good stuff more prominent.

Some mornings coming to my gratitude practice is more challenging, such as when the pipe under the kitchen sink bursts when I am hurrying to get my breakfast together before work, but then I am reminded of the good again when my husband graciously offers to clean up and fix it so I wont be late.

I have to say my yoga practice coincides wonderfully with my gratitude practice. If I have a difficult time finding or holding on to my gratitude, coming to my mat or even just coming to my breath brings me back. I hope to motivate and encourage my students to find their own practice of gratitude. Everyone has something to be grateful for no matter what is happening in their lives.  Sometimes it is easy to find, like when amazing things are happening but other times it is more elusive and THAT is the practice, can you find gratitude no matter what? And if you can, can you hold on to it and let it turn what little you have into more than enough? I invite you to try this practice and see how it enriches not just your day but also your life.


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