Hey You. Hope the week’s been F U L L of gratitude.
Because this practice is part of what it is to lead a yogic life. And, as Brene Brown puts it so well…Gratitude is not just as an attitude, it’s also a behaviour. It’s one thing to silently greet the things in our morning practice that we feel grateful for or pack them into a pretty notebook, but…
…are we also open to seeing the ‘silver lining’ and gratitude in the seemingly uncomfortable or tragic of situations?
This week has provided me one hell of a test in just this.
Being absent from the studio (which kills me – I miss you all when not there and have massive FOMO) meant I was down and out and wound up in hospital. I’m told every pregnancy has ‘something’. And I found that something as a stone in my left kidney and ultra swelling in the right plus a UTI to boot.
“Take that”, said the universe. “I dare you to be grateful for that.”
I took in on. This was my plan of gratitude…
“Firstly, I’m grateful for this pain as it’s my body’s way of fighting the infection – it’s all part of the healing process and secondly, and most importantly, I’m grateful that my baby is a-ok and seemingly unbothered. She continues to flip and kick some serious asana in there. Atta girl.”
I would be lying if I were to say I stuck to the first part of the plan.
My attitude changed more outfits than me when I go on a first date. When a wave pain came on, I was cursing, sweating, shivering and praying like a junkie for the hour to come around when the nurses would give me more pain relief.
And then the pain would ease and I would be grateful for the momentary sea of stillness in my nervous system. The calm ‘after’ the storm.
So it’s fair to say my attitude would swing from ‘f-you’ to ‘thank-you’ many a time. But as I started to get a feel for the ride and realised it was a journey I had zero control over, I started to roll with it. It was just the way through and as I walked out of the hospital I felt like I was over flowing with gratitude. The big G-Bombs that came from the experience…?
That humans are good. The nursing staff and doctors were out of this world. I felt truly nurtured and cared for every step of the way. And I had certain angels come visit me in hospital with nourishing treats (healing smoothies, chicken soup for the soul and a big fat Freddo Frog).
That the human body is vulnerable and resilient. You never quite know when you’re going to get hit with an illness like this, nor why, but when you do, much of the time our bodies (in collaboration with some Western medicine and, in my case, some Eastern Practices) bounce back and are all the more resilient as a result.
That I had some down time to really listen to this tiny human growing inside. This was the most precious thing of all. A beautiful gift.
And…next time I plan to stick to my plan a little more – less cursing.Oh and p.s. if you’re a Brene Brown fan and want her take on gratitude, check it.