an attitude of gratitude.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend."
~ Melody Beattie

Waking up to the sun shining bright.
Getting onto my yoga mat - whether it's 6am or 6pm, there I be - moving and breathing.
A delightful text from a dear friend who I miss.
Morning coffee.
Tears from a wholehearted laugh.
The first blossoms of Spring.
Ocean air.
Fresh flowers.

Easy to be grateful for those things, right? But what about our misfortunes and missteps? Pain and suffering? Anger and sadness?

Gratitude for that? Yup, you bet! It's those sticky moments - the people that piss you off, the times when fear stares you straight into the face, the moments when things just don't go your way and you're rocked to the core - when gratitude matters most. 

It's situations exactly like these that bring us to our raw, real selves. And it's in that moment of vulnerability and heightened emotion where our hearts get ripped open and there's a channel directly to the heart (the center of love, compassion, forgiveness) even if it feels like it's being broken open. And that is, ultimately, how we grow and get free.

Like our yoga mat mirrors our truth, so too does life. All the gooey stuff that pisses you off and triggers you out of love and bliss are the gems of insight and wisdom where you get to take a look at yourself to gain clarity about who you are and the ties that keep you from happiness.

To be grateful for everyone and for every circumstance - happy or not -  is about making peace with the aspects of ourselves that we have rejected and bringing our darkness to light. Tend to be impatient? The Universe will give you with numerous opportunities to work on that: line ups, traffic, manifesting intentions. And then the moment that you think you've got it all figured out, the Universe giggles and says, "Really?" Low and behold another opportunity presents itself for you to clearly see whether or not this triggers have been dissolved. 

No matter how we want to look at it, other people and circumstances trigger the karmas that we haven't worked out . . . yet. This is why it's important to be grateful for ALL experiences; to celebrate and live life fully - and to work out our crap so we can be free.

It's often the toughest situations that teach you best. As Pema Chodron says, "In our own lives . . . the people who, when you let them through the front door of your house, go right down to the basement where you store the things you'd rather not deal with, pick out one of them, bring it to you, and say "Is this yours?"

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