Yesterday in between picking up bristle blocks a hundred times, sweeping up the dirt Raine took out of a plant and sprinkled around the kitchen, cleaning up after our old dog, painting the bathroom, realizing it was 5 o’clock and I was still in my sweats, switching the laundry, wrapping a few presents, and preparing my special mashed potatoes, I was thinking about what I would say I’m thankful for this year when it was my turn around the table.
Of course my family. John and Raine are everything, my breath and my heartbeat. My dad and the hilarious things he always says like, “Lunch is ridiculous” and “Travel is the best education.” And each time I thought of my Thanksgiving dinner speech, that’s about as far as I would get, and then Raine would yell, “Maaaaaaaaaama! Mama!” and I’d be off running to find out what was in her mouth and why her lips were green (crayon).
Then we got this awesome email from a Dhyana Yoga student, Henry Yampolsky. I had to share it. It resonates with me I’m sure because he mentions Yogi Bhajan, one of the most influential teachers of my lifetime, but also because I get what he’s saying. My life is Great and Full thanks to my family, but also because of my yoga practice and all it puts in my path. All the people at DY I treasure so much, all the teachings of yoga and the accessibility to them through classes, books, and trainings we have such amazing access to in this day and age, all the physical and non physical transformations it has supported me through, and most of all, how it continues to require more of me. Because of all of that, today I’m thankful to feel Great and Full!
Great and Full
By Henry Yampolsky
Since reading Louise Hay’s world-renown book, You Can Heal Your Life, affirmations have been an integral part of my spiritual practice. Louise Hay teaches that affirming the life experience we want today with great feeling, as if we already are fully living in that experience, is the key to creating the reality we desire. Hay and many other teachers instruct that affirmations of gratitude are among the most powerful vessels to bring us on the wavelength of abundance, fulfillment and joy. So, especially around the Holidays, I would often affirm all the wonderful things I was grateful for.
However, as I my practice evolved, I began to feel certain unease about saying “I am grateful for…” as the phrase seemed to depend on circumstance, on having something or someone to be “grateful for” or worse yet being “grateful for” for something negative I did not have. Neither seemed as wholesome as I would have liked. The answer to my dilemma came from the profound words of Yogi Bhajan, the man who in the 1960s introduced Kundalini Yoga to the West:
The purpose of life is to watch and experience living. To enjoy living every moment of it. And to live in environments, which are calm, quiet, slow, sophisticated, elegant. Just to be. Whether you are naked or you have a golden robe on you, that doesn’t make any difference. The ideal purpose of your life is that you are grateful – great and full – that you are alive, and you enjoy it.