Practice of Gratefulness

deck yogaFor the past two weeks, we were on vacation at a small lake in Michigan. Vacation with a tiny human¬†is… ¬†different. Usually Kylie and I sit on the end of the dock with a pile of books and read, read, read in the sun.

This year, not only did we have an infant who disturbed our reading habit (totally predictable), we also had chilly and windy weather (totally unpredictable). We rarely read on the dock, spending two of thirteen days in the sun. We spent a lot of time in the sun porch, turning on the porch heater in the mornings.

I struggled with this… a lot. I had expected Siena to disrupt our habits, and planned for it with mosquito netting, umbrellas, and lots of beach towels for padding. I hadn’t expected the weather. I had hoped the second week would clear up, and it did for the last two days. For the most part, I fought disappointment – and I found an effective way to fight it.

At the beginning of the vacation, Kylie started practicing yoga outside–on the deck, on the dock, anywhere but in the house. Every time he came back inside, he oozed a vacationy-like contentment that I coveted. I wanted to feel that content with what our vacation looked like this year.

I decided that practicing with a sense of gratitude was the way to get there.

So when it was my turn to practice yoga (we often traded baby duty), I intentionally chose to be grateful. Grateful for vacation. Grateful for my parents, who owned a cottage we could use. Grateful for my mom’s attention to Siena so that we could read. Grateful for an amazing daughter. Grateful for my amazing husband and the privilege of watching him be a dad. Grateful for the sight of water.

Grateful for the way my daughter practices yoga with us sometimes (see photo).

It worked. We’re home now, and it’s hot again. I miss the lake. But because of those brief moments doing grateful yoga, I don’t feel like I wished away my time. Gratefulness is so important. Practicing gratefulness with yoga feels like taking time out to be grateful. To just sit with gratefulness…

…the practice is contagious. Now that I’m home, I find myself listing all sorts of other things to be grateful for too.

What are you grateful for?

 

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