By Bridget Fujioka
It is said it takes 21 days to form a habit. Over the years we have all developed quite a few habits, positive or negative, some of them intentionally and others not as much. When you decide to make a change it can take so much effort and determination to follow through, whether it is changing your eating habits, and exercise routine, spending less etc. What I have found to help when we make these changes in our life is to share our plans with someone. Not only do you create a support system, but also there is someone else to hold you accountable.
One of the greatest habits I’ve developed over the last few years is actively practicing gratitude every single day. Every night as a family we talk about what we are grateful for and during every yoga class I teach and take I conclude with gratitude. It has profoundly changed my life in ways I can’t even name. As a result I am a happier more giving person. I am able to stay present more often rather than dwelling on the past and future.
We all face challenges and inconveniences in our life and some of them can be devastating. But sometimes things are out of our control, so what can we do about it? Often a shift in perspective can help you find your way out of a situation. A shift towards gratitude asks better questions. Rather than why me or what if, which are reactionary, you are able to step back and find all the good around you. Then, the questions you begin to ask yourself is what is good about this and what can I learn. For example, you get in a car wreck and need a new car, but thank goodness no one was hurt. And thank you that I even have a car that can quickly get me from place to place. And yes, insurance can be tricky, but thanks to insurance, I can now replace my car.
Buddha once said, “”Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”
That way of thinking can be reformative. I find the more I practice gratitude, the more I am grateful for. The more magic and wonder I find around me. The more beauty and love surround me. The more I am able to give.
So now I am challenging all of you to embark on a journey of gratitude for the next 21 days leading up to Thanksgiving. But not only your own practice, I want you to cast the net wide and let everyone know. Please share with us all what you are grateful for every day. We will be sharing ours. We will hold each other accountable and hopefully it will become a lifelong habit
As the poet Maya Angelou said, “This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” I hope you approach every day with the same sense of wonder and appreciation.
Bridget[Photo credit: Flickr user ally213]