Here it is. It’s the week of Thanksgiving. The yoga teaching around Thanksgiving comes through the Sanskrit teaching in the Yoga Sutras called Santosha which means contentment or gratitude. I love this time of year because it focuses me on the healing power of gratitude. Every morning I have a ritual of doing some breathing exercises then thinking of as many things as I can for which I’m grateful. It’s such an amazing way to start the day! Another way of putting language to gratitude is to list everything that I love. I often use “I’m grateful” or “I love” to really mean the same thing. This is the message that often gets raw and dribbly.
So, with Kleenex in hand . . . deep breath . . .
I have found the LOVE OF MY LIFE and had the deep pleasure of marrying her this summer. I love, love, love, her and the life that we are forming together. I love her for her beauty, smarts, humor, and the fact that she can see and celebrate the best parts of me. I want to step up as a man and a human being to honor her incredible capacity. I love the life we are creating together and can’t wait to be by her side for the next 80 years. I love you, Seneca. Love is the best!
I love yoga. It’s so provocative in a way that sort of slaps me up-side the head and makes me pay attention, in the way that only a really good friend can do. I have revelation after revelation due to this practice and I suppose that’s why I keep writing about it and teaching it. I love to teach yoga. Wow, who knew that this stressed out high school band geek (band president, even) would be the one standing out in front of people and reminding them to breathe and understand themselves. Yoga found me and I’m so grateful for everything that yoga has taught me about myself and the world. I’m thrilled to be able to work in a career where I get to connect with people and touch their lives as they touch mine.
I’m grateful for my body. It’s healthy and strong and brings me enormous joy.
I’m grateful for running. I’m here to tell you, there is nothing better than a good solid trail run with a couple of hours to burn, a whole heap of pod casts cued up on the ole iPod, and a ProBar and a couple of water bottles strapped to me. I truly feel exhilarated when I run, almost like I’m flying.
I love sitting around the table with tight friends sharing a meal and laughing or crying between bites as simmer in the soup of rich friendship.
I love to play my saxophone. Every first Friday of the month I play with my jazz group, Jazz Brulee at the Bayou. It’s so much fun throwin’ down with those cats. I had a moment this year that I’ll never forget. I was up on stage at the Canyons Amphitheatre with my rockin’ R&B band, The Soulistics, in front around 6 thousand people and it came time for my solo. In this song (Rock Steady by Aretha) the entire band builds and builds and finally cuts out in order to for me to start my solo. Alone, I began with this sexy, loud, high, high, high note that I didn’t think I would ever be able to land in my life while I was a high school band geek, let alone with such clarity and power. Then I ripped out a great solo that morphed into a group imropv session with the horn section. Damn, that was incredible! I’m grateful for such thrilling opportunities.
I’m so grateful for my teachers: yoga teachers, music teachers, and life teachers. I expect to always be learning my whole life long. I’m so grateful for those who are willing to help show me the way.
I have a wonderful family. My family has been such a great support to me over the years. I have an incredible twin brother, awesome sisters, and great parents. I also have a brand-new family that I adopted when I married Seneca. They are as good to me as my own family. Thank you. I have a great step son and I’m grateful for the opportunity I had recently to teach him how to drive a stick in my rickety truck. I’ve been waiting for decades to be able to do that! He’s good and everything he does so it was no surprise that he picked this up right away and is itching to now drive off across town to visit his girlfriend. I’m grateful for that step-dad/step-son moment.
I’m grateful for A-lister friends. You’re reading this, I know, and I tear up thinking about how you show up for me time and time and time again. Thank you for looking into my eyes with love and tenderness as I blather about how parts of my life are burning down. Thank you for laughing with me when my life is more absurd than fiction. Thank you for celebrating with me when my life is ecstatic. And thanks for allowing me to do the same. Even if I don’t see you every day, you hold a special place in my heart and I know that I’m kickin’ around in yours too. I love you! And if you are wondering if you’re an A-lister, you are.
I’m so grateful for the opportunities to grow and learn and optimize everything that I have been given. I believe that some have the gift and others just have tenacity to learn it through brute effort. I feel like I’m of the latter sort. Some of those lessons are really hard but in the end I’m grateful that I get to pick myself up, brush myself off, and take another go at it. I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow and still be picking myself up.
I’m grateful to be working at Centered City. I’m grateful that after Prana closed, I still get to do the thing I love most which is to teach yoga. I’m grateful for the warm welcome I received when I came back, even though I left CCY to open Prana. I’m grateful for everyone who comes to my classes. I’m grateful for the wonderful friends and teachers who are there.
I’m grateful that I have a truck that takes me around where I need to go; this old bucket of rust that starts almost every time I want it too (almost, cuz she likes to keep me appreciative). I’m even more grateful after having had my truck STOLEN this year then getting it back, but not before wonderful friends, Christy and Brian, sold me their awesome Forester (now named Sherm) for a steal. After some minor repairs she runs better now than she has in years. So now Sennie and I have two cars that both run and didn’t cost us a limb. I’m so grateful for all of your concern and well-wishes during that whole drama. People I don’t even know will stop me in the store and tell me that they are happy I got my car back. Incredible. You people are amazing!
I’m grateful for healthy and delicious food to eat, clean water to drink, air to breathe, and a nice warm shower. I’m grateful for a cozy bed. I’m grateful for a wonderful little house I get to share with Sennie and Liam, my step-son, a really wonderful young man.
I’m so damn grateful to YOU! Seriously. You opened up this newsletter or strolled over to my blog to read this. And you’re STILL reading. I’m so touched by your support and encouragement to find my purpose on this amazing earth and go for it and put myself out there. I do because you do. I love to see you in class and at my retreats. I love to read your emails and hear your stories. I really want to share all of the incredible things you share with me with others. Your stories and words of wisdom are so poignant that I want you to share them. Please, please, please, go comment on my blog below and share a few things that you are grateful for.
Do it! Make a list of your own. Grab a box of Kleenex and then share it with those people to whom you are the most grateful . . . and some strangers too! Notice for yourself how healing gratitude is. Notice how much those lesser things just don’t matter as much after you do so.