{gratitude}

Mandala_033_Gratitudethanksgiving was just a few days ago. it was such a whirlwind that i didnt even get a chance to sit down and write my annual thanksgiving blog post. so now that ive found a few hours in my day, here it is.

matt brought up a great point when we were in the car the other day. we shouldnt just take thanksgiving to sit and reflect what we’re thankful for. it should be something that we practice each and every day. though i believe this to be very true and i try my hardest to practice this whenever i can, i see thanksgiving as a special time to shout it out. so, here we go. as best as i can, i give great thanks for the following things and for the following people.

i give thanks for my community. over the past two years, the community that ive been immersed in has been ever nourishing, ever inspiring, always accepting, and so, so loving. to say that i am blessed by the people in my community would be quite the understatement. i love them each so dearly and am so proud of them each and every day. they blow me away with their talents and the time that they take to care about others around them. they have supported me in my deepest endeavors and have lifted me up when ive needed it the most. they have made me laugh until ive cried. the nostalgia is neverending with the group of friends that ive acquired in and around ghent.

i give thanks for my family. for their constant support for what i do and what my dreams are. for their unending and unconditional love. my life is so crazy right now that im never sure whats going to come next, but i rest assured that my family will always be there. always.

i give thanks for my yoga practice. the journey on and off my yoga mat is one that has been extremely pivotal in my life. it has helped me grow as a person. it has made me so much stronger both physically and mentally. it has helped me through the most challenging times in my life. it has led me to absolutely incredible teachers who mentor me, believe in me, and challenge me. it has led me to yoga sisters and brothers who are all doing incredible things with their lives; more to be proud of.

i give thanks for my faith. my church and my friends have continued to remind me to stay deeply rooted in faith, to not take one step without knowing that Our God is a God of great blessings, great abundance, and great purpose. He doesn’t place any one person or circumstance in our life without there being a bigger reason. i am thankful that my faith has been strong enough to endure the pain and darkness that my heart has faced, that its helped me see the light in it all.

i am thankful for relationship. both romantic and friendships. over this past year, so many of my relationships have blossomed. each relationship that i encounter has also been a teacher, showing me something new about the world or being human. i am blessed by the people who have shown true friendship, true love, and endurance. without so many of my friends, i would be such a different person. they have made me better, reminded me that i am stronger than si sometimes think, and remind me that im beautiful even when i feel like a mess.

i am thankful for opportunity. for the chances God has given me to live in my purpose. for the trips ive had to Haiti. for the workings in my heart. for my constant opportunity to explore new places and travel. for the opportunity to teach. to learn. to sing. to dance. to embrace. to love. to cry. to fall. to pick myself back up. to dig deep into my heart for the true meaning of my life. for all of this, and so much more.

It is gratitude that enables us to receive and it is gratitude that motivates us to repay by returning the goodness that we have been given. In short, it is gratitude that enables us to be fully human.

…may I find all of the ways possible to show my gratitude to those I love most. thank you all for blessing my life so much.