In The Power of Vulnerability, Brené Brown shares how important it is to have not just an attitude of gratitude, but a practice of gratitude. She makes the delightful comparison to being a person who wears yoga pants, but never does yoga. She says she has "an attitude of yoga." Meaning, wearing the pants won't necessarily lead to um...enlightenment. Developing a gratitude practice brought so much more meaning and abundance into my life. I give thanks before every meal that I eat. I keep a gratitude journal of what I'm thankful for each day. But perhaps the most important part of my practice has been saying, "thank you," when something particularly difficult is happening in my life.
Today is the fourth day of Navratri where we begin the period of celebrating the Goddess Lakshmi who represents prosperity and abundance in both the material and spiritual realms. Today's practice is simple. We will begin the celebration of Lakshmi with a practice of gratitude for all of the abundance that we have in our life.
I spent my meditation this morning giving thanks to the universe for all of my great gifts - the delicious, healthy food I get to eat every day; my safe, comfortable, affordable home; my incredible friends, family, and mentors. I gave thanks that I have enough so that I may share with others. I also took time to thank myself - for meditating, for eating well, for spending time alone, for exercising my body. And the magic is that by thanking myself, I want to do more of that stuff. I believe the universe works the same way.
So today, on the fourth day of Navratri, take time to give thanks for the abundant blessings you already have in your life. There will be plenty of time to ask for more in the coming days.