Dear Friends ~ Some yoga practices incorporate a simple movement sequence called a vinyasa that a person returns to at regular intervals during the yoga flow. Physically speaking, this repetition is a way to return to the breath, come back into balance, and refocus the mind amidst other movements. In daily life, with all its clutter and clatter, it can be helpful to have habits or movements of the soul that — like a vinyasa — cycle our attention back to the gifts that surround us.
In that spirit, each November (when many in the U.S. celebrate Thanksgiving) I keep a daily gratitude journal to remind myself to notice the smallest moments of delight or surprise that I might overlook in my normally distracted state. Once, during the autumn my son was three I wrote,
Sitting alone behind the house, I was half-hidden behind a tree when G came running down the hill clutching the bike pump, gathered three different little bikes, and set them up in a row. Pretending to attach the needle side of the pump to one tricycle, he readied his arms to push down. That's when I saw his attention drawn away from his little workstation and instead up into the unfathomably blue November sky where six vultures circled above the house in migration, riding a thermal. I watched him in wonder, awe, and love... while he watched them in basically the same way.
This year when I return to that Thanksgiving practice, I will keep in mind Kurt Vonnegut's perfect advice: "I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'" ~ Joy