Friday, November 25, 2011

My Thanksgiving Mala



On Wednesday evening, I took a meditation class at the yoga studio.  Meditation isn't normally part of my practice (although I really should do it more), but I figured I'd give it a shot--especially since I missed some of the meditation classes during teacher training last weekend.


Padma selected a mantra for the evening: "I am grateful for what I have and I have nothing to complain about."  Too often, our gratitude is tempered by complaints.  We celebrate Thanksgiving but complain about how much work it is or how certain family members can get on our nerves.  Sometimes we need to take a step back and be thankful for everything we have--warts and all.


During our teacher training retreat last weekend, we talked about malas--whether a physical mala asana practice (108 sun salutations) or mala beads (108 beads plus the "guru" bead) for counting mantras in a meditation practice.  I decided that I wanted to write out a mala for all of the things for which I am grateful--in no particular order.


1. My husband, who deals with my eccentricity on a daily basis
2. My family 
3. My girlfriends
4. My friends in general, who often serve as a surrogate family
5. Yoga, which has helped keep me physically strong and mentally/emotionally sane
6. My dogs, who are eternally devoted and affectionate
7. My home
8. My career.  I get to play for a living.  How fun is that?
9. My awesome colleagues
10. My past experiences--good and bad--which have formed me into the person I am today
11. The farmer's market--I'm loving the locally-sourced, seasonal fruits and veggies every week!
12. My rockin' fellow yoga teacher trainees.  They inspire and challenge and support me like whoa!  
13. Music of all kinds.
14. My education
15. JMU (Duuuuuuuuuuukes!)
16. My master's degree program.  I've met some seriously awesome people all over the country as a result!
17. Books--I've loved reading my entire life.
18. Kindle--I really love being able to download books in an instant.  Even better, I'll actually read magazines now that I have my Kindle Fire!
19. Facebook.  Lame, I know, but I love keeping in touch with people.
20. Twitter.  Sometimes I need to get my thoughts out into the universe.
21. Laughter.  I love being silly and goofy.
22. Knowledge
23. Independence
24. Being debt-free (except for a mortgage)
25. Creativity
26. Freedom of speech
27. Strength--physical and emotional
28. My health 
29. Sunshine
30. My life
31. My warm duvet.  It keeps me cozy when it's cold out.
32. All of the great teachers in my life.
33. Beauty
34. Common sense
35. Clean water
36. My community
37. Every lesson I've ever learned
38. Blogs and bloggers--I've met new people, read interesting things, and made LOTS of good food because of blogs!
39. Health insurance.
40. Granny's Pumpkin Pie
41. Coffee.  (Especially grateful for this on Monday mornings!)
42. Chick lit.  Sometimes a girl needs some brain candy.
43. Guilty pleasures
44. Snow
45. Confidence in myself.
46. Silly movies (which are frequently quoted in my house!)
47. Christmas
48. Financial stability
49. Courage
50. Naps
51. Birthday cake
52. Music Ed conferences--I get to learn, get excited about my profession, and see old friends!
53. Hardships--because they make me appreciate everything I have here and now.
54. My breath
55. All of the opportunities I've had in my life.
56. Persistence & dedication.  I wouldn't be where I am (or who I am) without them.
57. My intelligence.
58. My knack for remembering numbers.  (Thanks, Pop.)
59. Self-discipline
60. Compassion
61. Peace
62. Ugly cries
63. Joy
64. A clean house
65. Ice cream
66. The city where I live
67. 70-degree days in November
68. Healthy fear
69. The smell of rain in the summer
70. The smell of fireplaces in the winter
71. Sore muscles
72. Indoor plumbing
73. Hard work
74. Inner peace... or at least the journey towards it
75. Trust
76. Nature's beauty
77. Being able to make a difference in other peoples' lives.
78. Poetry
79. Riding bikes with friends
80. Patience
81. Intelligent conversation
82. Heating pads and ibuprofen
83. My glasses
84. Living in a place where I get to experience all four seasons every year.
85. Internet friends
86. Technology
87. Being able to cook healthy and delicious meals
88. Clothes that make me feel confident and beautiful
89. Bear hugs
90. Free will
91. People who do the right thing, just because.
92. Forgiveness
93. Having fun
94. Encouragement
95. Going out to dinner with friends
96. Dancing
97. Unconditional love
98. Good deeds
99. A healing heart
100. A good night's sleep
101. Quiet time to myself
102. Christmas carols
103. Random acts of kindness
104. Passion
105. Vacations
106. Happiness
107. Celebrating the little things in life
108. Having a holiday every year that is specifically dedicated to gratitude!




I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving, filled with food, love, family, and friends!






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