So, it's November.
It was definitely November last week when I took the Babe out for a stroll in the afternoon. The sky was gray, the trees more bare (though some bright yellows are hanging on), and one lone bird kept singing our way. The clocks have shifted, the temperatures have shifted, our minds and bodies have shifted.
We're starting to look ahead to the holiday season. For us it begins with the trip to Florida to be together with my husband's family for Thanksgiving. I know, it's a little overboard to start talking about "THE HOLIDAYS" already. We just finished Halloween. But, a message from Amy Ippoliti in her 30-day challenge this month got me thinking. She wrote the challenge to do 3 backbends (Urdhva Dhanurasana) daily to get the heart open in preparation for the holidays.
My thoughts went something like this: Hmmm. Prepare for the holidays. Don't let them sneak up on me again. And prepare physically, emotionally, and mentally... not just by cooking, baking, stressing, and shopping. Hmmm. Interesting.
As I mentioned in an earlier post. Along with the backbends, I'm starting with Appreciation during the month of November. Appreciation. What do I appreciate and value in my day/life? And, can I remember it long enough to write it down, either on the blog or in my journal at the end of the day? To me, Appreciating something or someone means taking myself out of the center of my own little world and noticing some kindness, action, gesture, thought, situation, condition, or even intention that actually helps to make my life a little easier. I seriously appreciate my washing machine. (especially after not having one at times in my life.) Appreciation is the noticing part... Gratitude, that big effort we try to make to say THANK YOU, follows naturally from appreciating. If you appreciate something someone did, a great feeling of Gratitude swells in you and you say Thank you from the real depth of your being. Not because it is the "proper" thing to do.
All that said, I appreciate my teacher, Todd for passing along this thought process to me. Thanks Todd.
So, this November, I'm warming up to Thanksgiving, that big gathering around a table when everybody says what they're Thankful for, by warming up my Appreciation muscles. If you want to be ready with me I suggest you try it too. Make a list so it's tangible, visible, and lasts through the night. By the end of the month, the people you share your table with won't be able to eat because you'll be Thankful for SO much! (not that you have to share a MONTHS worth of gratitude, you'll just be really good at it)
A few things I appreciate today:
- Naptime (for the Babe)
- A well stocked Grocery Store
- Yogurt and her pro-biotic properties
- My husband starting the diaper washing process last night
- the power of my practice to shift my body mind and heart
Contemplation for Appreciation: What or who has made my life at least a small amount easier today?