This month, I want to focus on gratitude. Last year I created a special Gratitude Meditation for my December Sound Bath and it was very well received, so I am going to repeat it again this year at both of our upcoming Sound Baths in Springfield at Common Bond Yoga on December 15th and Anahata Heart Center on December 22nd, both Sound Baths start at 2pm.
Gratitude is something that we often overlook in our busy lives. With the holiday season in full swing, I thought spending our meditation focusing on ALL the things we are grateful for would be a wonderful and uplifting way to prepare for the holidays. It is important to note that gratitude is not just about being thankful for the good things in your life, it is about being thankful for everything in your life. There are things in your life which might initially seem bad, but upon reflection, provide you with an opportunity to learn and grow. Part of gratitude is recognizing these blessings in all things.
Find a comfortable seat or lay down. Take a few long deep breaths in and let them out through your nose. Settle a little deeper into your mat, and start to image a tall, beautiful tree in front of you, a Christmas tree, or any other tall tree, if Christmas Trees aren't you jam.
Take a breath and start to image the basic things in your life you are grateful for -such as your home, and imagine it on a beautiful glass ball and place it on the lower branches of tree in front of you. Start to think about all the basic things in your life you are grateful for, but don't take the time to acknowledge - your car, a fridge full of food, a warm bed, clean water, and as you image these things, start to see them on the tree as a glass ornament, until the entire bottom of the tree if filled with all the basic items you are grateful to have in your life.
Take a nice deep breath and start to think about all the people and creatures you're grateful to have in your life. Your family, children, friends - and start to image them on those glass balls, and fill up the middle of the tree with all those people you are grateful for. As you take deep mindful breaths continue to fill the tree with everyone you are grateful for that may now always come to your mind - your teachers, the checker at Trader Joe's you love to chat with, the people who grow your food, the people who clean your house, take care of your pets, all the people that touch your life and start to image them as ornaments on the tree. And let's not forget our fur babies, current and past. Start to see the tree filling with all the people and animals you are grateful to know and love.
Take another breath in and start to think of all the things you do in your life that you are grateful, your church, yoga practice, gym, career, all the things that are part of what make you, you. And start to fill the upper part of the tree with glass balls of all the things that make you feel accomplishment and prestige.
Finally think of all the things in your life that help you achieve your full potential, creative activities, meditation, prayers, and start to fill the tree with glass balls with all these things.
Then visualize this amazing tree filled with so many things you are grateful for, all the wonderful things and people that you have in your life that makes it so full. Take a step back, and really take everything in, and as we continue this meditation, continue to focus on all those things that fill you with gratitude. As you continue your meditation continue to carry this image with you and throughout the holiday season. If you start to feel frustrated, depressed or overwhelmed bring back this image of your gratitude tree to help reset your mind.