By Mary Boutieller
Know that you worthy and amazing and already have all that you need within you.
I love Yogi brand teas and the little messages that are attached to each teabag. These small pieces of paper are filled with reminders to carry us through our day. A couple of days ago, I received this message: “Gratitude is not about what is received; it’s about how you receive what is there.”
In this very moment, I feel gratitude for the ceiling fan keeping me cool, the sweet music playing on my little portable speaker, and the sun shining through the skylight in the living room.
Just naming these things helps me realize that there is nothing else needed to feel gratitude in my life. What is already here is enough.
Most of the time, it’s easy to feel gratitude—to see the abundance in our lives and watch spring move toward summer in both subtle and brilliant ways. And then I’ll have a sleepless night, wake up cranky, and see only the things that I perceive as bothersome, letting these small details ruin an otherwise pretty awesome day.
I realize that this is what we do, with ourselves and with others. We forget our abundance, our privilege, our lives well lived. We allow little irritations to become the biggest thing in our lives instead of the smallest. We zero in on a mosquito bite’s itch and scratch it until it festers, forgetting about all the places where it doesn’t itch!
If we are lucky, we catch ourselves. We shoo away the mosquitos in our lives and remember the butterfly landing on the big red pedal of the begonia plant, and we smile, again, at how damned lucky we are to see a butterfly and have a begonia plant because so many can’t see or are stuck in their own small details taking up too much space in their lives.
It’s not always easy, I know. A health scare, a bad turn, an unexpected, unplanned event, can move us away from gratitude if we let it. It’s up to us, then, to turn back toward the sun’s rays and follow the light through the trees to the truth of our lives.
The great James Baldwin said, “One discovers the light in the darkness, that is what darkness is for; but everything in our lives depends on how we bear the light. It is necessary, while in darkness, to know that there is a light somewhere, to know that in oneself, waiting to be found, there is a light.”
Take a moment, right now, to find the light. Take a few deep, purposeful breaths and feel a sense of calm abiding overtake you. Then shine the light of gratitude on all that you have and all that you are and all that you are meant to be. Close your eyes and feel it deep within your bones. Know that you worthy and amazing and already have all that you need within you.
Mary Oliver, in her poem Wild Geese, says, “You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”
When might we stop the repentant march of “not enough-ness” and begin to love what we love? When will what we have and who we are be enough?
Our fullest lives depend on finding the dance within the storms that come and go, breathing in and out with the rhythm of a life that is uniquely our own, yet in synchrony with every other living thing on the planet. Sway with it, move with it, smile, and notice all the things in your life for which you are grateful.
Mary Boutieller is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. She has been teaching yoga since 2005. Her work experience includes 22 years as a firefighter/paramedic and 10 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist. Mary’s knowledge and experience give her a well-rounded understanding of anatomy, alignment, health and movement in the body. She is passionate about the benefits of yoga and the ability to heal at all levels through awareness, compassion, and a willingness to explore. She can be reached at: SimplyogaOm@gmail.com.