“I choose my thoughts. I choose abundance. I choose gratitude.”
How’s your wallet feeling these days? The price of gas; inflation; the housing market…. Lately, I’ve been feeling like there are SO many things to complain about. After the financial struggles of the last two years, it feels like I can’t catch a break. And I know I am not alone; the economy has affected everyone. The cost of living has gotten out of control, and this topic of conversation seems to come up everywhere – in every Yoga class, on every radio station, with the cashier at the grocery store. This story is being told everywhere I turn, by everyone I know.
I can’t say I am not an active participant in this dialogue – I AM! But if my Yoga practice has taught me one thing, it’s that I can choose my thoughts. I may not be in control of the world around me, but I am in control of the thoughts that I hold in my mind. At every moment of any day, I can choose what I think. I can choose my reactions. I don’t always get to choose my emotions and how I feel, but I do get to choose my thoughts and reactions.
I might not be able to control the price of gas, but I can choose my story around it. I can choose to be stressed and angry about the cost of living, OR I can focus on all of the abundance in my life, and hold onto gratitude. I can choose to leave the bitter, and take the sweet. This is my choice, within my control. This is my meditation in action.
Being able to slow down and choose our thoughts allows us to better manage our emotions, which means we can also slow down and choose our words and our actions. Meditation is one of the many tools in our arsenal of practicing svadhyaya, self study, and it is the most powerful way to practice yoga in our day to day lives. This is when the gift of Yoga really starts to show up – when what we practice on the yoga mat, in seated meditation, comes into action in our daily lives. It is one way to transform our practice into conscious action: one breath at a time, one thought a time, one moment at a time, one choice at a time.
So here is a different dialogue: one of gratitude. Next time I see that sign for $2.33/litre, I will choose to not react with contempt. Instead I will hold onto gratitude for the fact that I even have a car to fill with gas!!! That I have a running vehicle to get me and healthy, safe family from my wonderful home (which I cannot afford to ever leave, but still), in my country that is not under threat of missile attack. I will choose to take a deep breath and practice gratitude.
~By Prestonne Sehn