Finding time during the holiday season to give thanks for the things we have in our lives, the things we look forward to receiving, and the gift we give others with our love, attention, and presence puts us in the perfect state for growth, repair, regeneration, and receiving. How so?
What if, before you got out of bed and began your day, you took the time to ask yourself one simple question? “What is the greatest ideal of myself that I can be today?” If you were patient enough to wait for an answer, you would begin to think differently than if you just woke up and remembered yourself as the same person from the day before. In other words, if you waken in the morning, get out of bed on the same side, turn off your alarm clock the same way, use the toilet as always, look in the mirror to remember who you are, wash yourself in the shower the same way as the day before, groom yourself and dress yourself to look like everyone expects to see you, eat the same food for breakfast, drive to work as usual, see the same people at work that push the same emotional buttons and do the same memorized things that you know how to do so well, we could say that your mind and your brain would remain virtually unchanged.
At our workshops across the world, we begin each meditation by opening our hearts. When we do this, I always monitor our student’s energy and observe what they are doing. Surprisingly, I often find that it’s very difficult for most people to open their heart and really feel an elevated emotion such as gratitude. It usually takes them a few days to finally be able to fully surrender into the feeling. I was especially mystified by this at our last event on the Sunshine Coast in Australia a few weeks back. It caused me to wonder, why is it so hard for the majority of us to really feel gratitude?
We are fast approaching what for many people is not only the busiest time of year, but also the most stressful. There’s shopping to be done, deadlines to be met, friends and family obligations to be fulfilled, and so on. As tension and anxiety runs high, so too do the hormones that make stress chemicals. With all this added stress, it’s easy to lose focus on our goals and meditation practice.