Having an “attitude of gratitude” is something that I strive for EVERY day. In fact, it’s part of my morning ritual. I like to use the word “ritual” instead of “routine”. A “routine” is tedious and calls to mind something that has to be done, but a “ritual” feeds the body, mind and soul. So when my good friend Coach Jennie wrote her latest blog post “10 Spectacular Things Happening Right Now” I knew I had to write my own post. However, I hesitated; and then Jennie gave me one of her “cathartic shoves”, so here it is.
1. My husband – Next week will be our 13 year Manniversary. In 13 years he has been my best friend and biggest supporter. I’m very lucky to have found someone who is (secretly) as crazy as I am. He backs me with every crazy thought I have, cheering me from the sideline, celebrating my wins, and picking me up and brushing me off when I fall. He’s the Yang to my Yin. We balance each other out in so many different ways. Sometimes it’s like we share a brain, we always fall in to sync with our thoughts and ideas for the future of our lives together. I’m very grateful for this generous, caring, handsome and intelligent man. I’m also grateful that his Disney addiction is almost as big as mine!
2. My career – If you had told me five years ago that I would be teaching Yoga and Pilates full time I would have laughed. I’ve never been much for speaking in front of others. Even in small groups, I was silent and shared my thoughts only occasionally. I was never one for speaking out or standing up for myself. I never felt I had a voice of my own. But now, not only do I speak in front of large classes of students, but I’m there to hold a sacred space for them. I’m there to guide them to connect to their bodies and move in healthy ways. I’ve finally found my voice. In just over two years of teaching I’ve connected with some incredible students, making a positive impact on their lives and health, and I’ve watched them grow into their practice. As they have grown so have I as a teacher including the size of my classes and student following. One of my goals this year was to take my teaching out of gym settings and teach more at studios. I’ve been successful in doing so, adding four new studios to my teaching schedule. I’m so grateful that I get to teach what I love to practice, and that it is my “job”.
3. My Health – My own personal practice of Yoga and Pilates has brought me into a space of perfect love for my body. My body may not be “perfect”, and it might never be, but for the first time in my life…I’m okay with that. I’ve struggled with some VERY unhealthy habits in relation to my body over the past 20+ years. I’m finally at a place where I am inspired to be healthy and not only that, but I’m inspired to inspire others to be healthy. I have created a deep and loving union with my body that I’m now able to constantly nourish in healthy ways. I’m grateful for a body that is healthy, fit, and strong. I’m grateful for a body that is able to move through the activities I love: Yoga, Pilates, Running, Cycling, Dancing, etc.
4. Meditation – My meditation practice has grown and this has been a life changing practice for me. Every meditation session that I’m able to do leaves me more connected to “god”, “the creator”, “higher consciousness” whatever you want to call it. Out of this I’ve had these amazing moments of clarity about who I am, where I am going, and how I can live my life to be in service to others. Every moment spent in meditation has helped me to detach from the ego, and learn to let go of things that are no longer serving me. I’ve found a deeper spiritual connection not only to myself but to the world around me through meditation. Meditation has given me peace, patience, love, compassion, and strength. I’m grateful for these moments of silence and stillness that allow me to connect to my true inner self.
5. Writing – Meditation has given me some clarity on my writing as well. Ideas that were planted in my head that never came to fruition are now projects that I’m working on. I’m currently working on two yoga and spiritual related books that hopefully will be finished and published soon. I will be signing up for NaNoWriMo in November to further inspire me, and keep me on the track to finishing at least one of these two books. I’m grateful that I have an outlet, such as this blog, to share my experiences with others through my writing. I’m grateful for anyone who reads this blog (that’s YOU)!
6. Hamlet – No, not that Hamlet! My dog Hamlet Beauregard, or Hammie as he is called. I know to some people this might sound weird, but he is one of my greatest teachers. That little dog is a great teacher of patience, love, joy and loyalty. It impossible to come home from a long hard day and not have your spirits lifted as he greets you at the door; toy in mouth and tail wagging. He is his own brand of therapy. He’s a cuddler, and nothing warms the heart more than being snuggled up with him. He is a constant reminder that you have to let go of the small stuff, and to make time to play. I am grateful for his love and devotion every day.
7. Service – As I mentioned before, almost everything I do comes from this thought of “How can I help others?”, “How can I be of service to others?” or “How is this going to benefit those around me?”. I don’t teach Yoga and Pilates, write this blog or the upcoming books, or record videos or podcasts to be famous or anything. Everything I do comes from a place of being in service to others; from a place of sharing with others. I’m very grateful and honored to be taking part in my teacher, Jacqui Bonwell’s, upcoming Yoga Benefit for the Homebase Program. I am working on raising money and will be holding a donation based class next week to raise money for this amazing program that provides clinical care for veterans and their families to heal from the invisible wounds of war such as PTSD. Her event has raised over $36,000 for this cause over the past two years. For more information or to make a donation check out my fundraising page.
8. Training – Okay, so this one is not happening RIGHT NOW! I thought by now I would have started or even finished with training, but it’s been pushed back a little. Hopefully, starting in January I will be continuing my Pilates education by taking a Comprehensive Pilates Training course. This will allow me to become certified to teach on all the Pilates apparatus such as the Reformer and Cadillac. Not only that, but I will be able to dig deeper into the history of Pilates and become a better and stronger teacher. 2015 is going to be all about PILATES for me. Through this training and workshops, I’m going to push myself to become the best and most well rounded Pilates teacher I can be. Stay tuned for more on this one. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to grow in this field and share this amazing form of movement with others.
9. Autumn – Every so often I think about moving back home to Florida, where I have so many friends and family. Not to mention being able to visit Disney anytime I want. But when Autumn kicks into high gear in New England, nothing is as beautiful. The landscape slowly changes colors and each day that spot you drive by looks a little different. The crispness in the air settles in, and you get to take out and wear your favorite hoody. Apple picking, fall festivals, pumpkin spiced EVERYTHING! The air is finally turned off and the windows are thrown open. In fact as I sit here writing this, the windows are open and a breeze rustles the multi hued leaves outside, as the air blows in and cools the room. This is my favorite time of the year! I’m very grateful that I get to experience this beautiful change happening all around me.
10. Vacation (It’s all I ever wanted) – Again, this is not happening right now, but the planning and anticipation sure is. Since January, when I went to California to run the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland, I’ve been working six day weeks. The only day I ever have completely off is Sunday, and I’m usually too tired from work, and setting up for the week ahead, that I never get to really unwind and relax. My body, mind and soul is ready for a week’s worth of vacation. It will be the first time in over a year that we will be getting home to Florida. Our visit over Christmas week will include catching up with friends and family, and of course a few days at Walt Disney World. Disney is my truly our happy place, and Disney at Christmas time is just pure magic. I’m very grateful that we are able to travel when we can. And I’ll be VERY grateful for that first Fiesta Margarita at the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my “10 Spectacular Things Happening Right Now”, and I challenge you to write your own! Feel free to post them in the comments, email them to me, or post them on my Facebook page. Remember to take a few minutes every day to be grateful for the things that you do have in your life at this moment.