I have had the privilege to spend the last week with a wonderful group of people who are on a detox, fitness & yoga retreat in the Atlas Mountains and once again I have been a part of a transformational journey on many levels for each person here and it is an honour.
The four months following the Forrest teacher training wasn't the easiest to transition through but today I recognised that there has been a shift in my energy.
As I was driving back to my accommodation yesterday I looked out the window across the Moroccan landscape and felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I felt butterflies in my belly, my chest swelled with happiness and I was overcome with contentment and peace.
I love my life and I am truly grateful.
Gratitude is a daily practice for me and for a while I forgot the power of this ritual. In January, in a move to shift residue anger, frustration and hurt; I committed to daily gratitude letters and intention setting. The affects have been transformational.
Sitting each morning and writing down what I am grateful for has opened my eyes to the beauty that exists in my life – my family, my friends, the opportunities knocking on my door and the life I am actively creating day by day.
Yet there are the days when I feel the resistance to doing it, the days where reading my daily meditation just feels like a chore and I am resistant even though I know its benefits are immense.
It has got me thinking: Why do we resist the things in life that have a positive affect and make us feel empowered about who we are?
Being part of a team leading a detox retreat has definitely brought that question up for the participants and for us! Suddenly what we can’t eat becomes a hot topic and how achy our bodies are becomes the main theme in restorative yoga every evening... and then someone mentions chocolate or alcohol and we are all craving and talking about what we can’t or don't have.
If we give in to the craving does one piece of dark chocolate solve all the challenges of the day? NO IT DOESN’T. It’s a way to experience a short burst of satisfaction before we go back to our daily tasks. It’s a mechanism to numb out what we really feel. It’s a way to avoid dealing with what is underneath the craving. I am coming to the realisation that for me, feeling short periods of satisfaction is easier than working to release the hurts and pains that are deeper within me. It’s easier to bury it in the short term than deal with it in the moment.
EXCEPT – NEWSFLASH – IT’S NOT!
That piece of chocolate makes me feel guilty, that glass of wine makes me wonder if my head will ache in the morning and that choice to not get on my mat and practice yoga generates frustration with myself.
How we deal with our ways to numb out is individual to each of us. What works for me is to come to a place of gratitude and acceptance through connecting to my breath, to be present and to ask my spirit what it truly needs in the moment. This might be getting on my mat, taking a walk, talking it through with a friend, writing it out in my journal or putting on my favourite piece of music and shaking it off.
And yes there are days I fail dramatically and the chocolate wins but that’s part of the journey. Having awareness of it happening, in my eyes, is half the battle. Being grateful for all parts of the journey – the good and the not so good is where beauty lies. What are you grateful for today? What daily rituals do you have that allow you to embrace life and recognise all the beauty that exists in yours?