The Gift of Thanks

In the New York Times Books section, their “Book of the Times” is Margaret Visser’s The Gift of Thanks.

In the review, the author touches on the intersection of gratitude and yoga.  Obviously, this was not deliberate but since yoga is (always) on my brain and since I’ve been doing this Thanksgiving Challenge now for about a week, the words resonated with me.

Here are a few snippets:

In the book, Visser,

“writes about the humility required to be genuinely grateful, and the essential ability to climb out of one’s own head.

“Gratitude is always a matter of paying attention,” she writes, of “deliberately beholding and appreciating the other.”

Gratitude is, fundamentally, about not taking things for granted, a kind of worldview.

Heck yeah!  If this week has taught me anything it is that gratitude is absolutely a worldview.  It is a way of teasing out the positive and consciously beholding. Remembering to be thankful.

In yoga, the practice of asana (the poses) and meditation (silent sitting) teaches us to be aware and in the present moment, to behold our thoughts, actions and the actions of others around us without engaging and without judgment.  When we feel gratitude, we release any attachment we had to the person or action and deliberately choose to feel only joy in that moment.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches and stress levels and emotions run high, it’s even more important to take a step back, climb out of our own heads and behold the beauty and joy of the people and things around us with compassion, humility and gratitude.

Thank you, Margaret Visser, for reminding us of that.


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