Beginning With Gratitude

This year on Thanksgiving, I feel more able to articulate all that I am grateful for. Much different than last year, when, like many of you, I was mainly grateful for being healthy and having my family by my side during possibly one of the worst years of our lives, 2020. (And, that seemed to be enough.)

I started 2021 full of hope for a better future.
I longed for a fresh start.
I just wanted to get my life back.

The result? I learned more than I could have imagined, and I feel so much gratitude that I don’t even know where to begin.

The truth is…I need more fingers to count all of my blessings!

My Main Life Lesson
In order to lead with an open heart, I needed to understand gratitude. I needed to feel it and embody it, and an open heart would follow. Gratitude is not a concept outside of myself that I need to acquire and hold on to. It is a state of being. It exists within me, and I need to activate it with the help of my best friend, awareness. Through my intellectual and somatic awareness, I am able to give more meaning to my daily interactions that inspire gratitude within me.

Awareness through presence gives me an opportunity to expand my heart fully as I navigate my day to day life.

One of the biggest opportunities for gratitude this year, and there were many for me, was the REBIRTH I experienced through surviving Covid. I refused to live in fear before getting the virus, but living through it and surviving it created an opportunity for me to meet my mortality in a whole different way.

Frankly, it was scary.

While dealing with the debilitating symptoms, I was faced with the threat of my physical, spiritual, and emotional being-ness coming to a crashing halt and forcing me to reevaluate who I am and all that I stand for.

After weeks of recovery, it was both liberating and exhilarating to feel like myself again…a new and more alive me! The lessons were not wasted on me, and I was en route to so much self-discovery through many life experiences that followed. A true gift that I am so grateful for!

Often, the biggest blessings and transformations come from rock bottom experiences…when we are lying on the cold floor with nowhere to go but up. In those moments, we have the opportunity to reframe our experience with gratitude, because it is the one emotion we can muster as we slowly make sense of our process. What we end up realizing is that in order to have an open heart, we need to begin with gratitude.

An open heart without gratitude doesn’t exist.

So, on this Thanksgiving, I invite you to join me in being grateful for our gratitude, which, if it hasn’t already, will lead you to open your heart. What can be more important than that?