This Sunday I want to focus on yoga and gratitude. I came across the gratitude journal that I kept years ago. There are so many lists, quotes, and drawings. I still practice gratitude, I just don't have a dedicated journal for it now.
In a sea of bad news, uncertainty, and negativity being grateful can pull you through. My experience with this practice started when I was dealing with depression. After leaving an abusive relationship, I lost everything.
I was diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. I thought I was broken. I thought I would never love or be loved. I thought that my smile was lost forever. I remember feeling like my life was over. I don't even remember those days I was living in such a low place. Every day I hurt, I cried, I was so confused. I felt like a failure. There were many of days I asked why am I here, why am I even alive. I didn't feel like I had a purpose. My spirit was trapped, tormented.
I hit rock bottom and there was no end in sight. I wanted to die. I felt so useless like I had no purpose. I felt alone, so alone! No one helped me it seemed like everyone turned their back on me. They were either upset or maybe didn't understand or know how to help me. My faith was shaken, my world was crushed and I was devastated. I did not live for several years.
I started researching ways to fight this thing that was happening to me. I had to save myself. I realized that this was my struggle. It wasn't for anyone else to understand and I couldn't make them. All I had was myself and I had to pull myself out of the gutter and begin my climb to the top. I used a variety of methods and resources that gave me the support that I needed.
I eventually learned about yoga, which led me to meditation. Yoga and gratitude saved my life. I practiced Yoga religiously! Every morning and evening I would practice at home and once a week I would go to a group class and also a private class. Yoga allowed me to reconnect with myself physically, spiritually, & mentally. I started to get stronger, I started to smile more. I had something to live for and look forward to. I met some amazing women who supported me and I started finding myself again.
I learned about gratitude, I learned to be still and experience rather than react. It wasn't the emotion or situation, but my reaction to it that kept me depressed and feeling like a victim. When I started looking at what I had to be thankful for, the smallest little things I started seeing the bigger things. It's like I forgot about all the accomplishments I made in my life and the ones I had yet to achieve. I started living out of a place of gratitude. I was grateful for being alive, for escaping abuse, for being a mother, for having dreams and goals, for not giving up.
When I look at where I am now and how far I have come from that low place in my life I have so much more to be grateful for! Though I was forever changed, I was able to take the good out of it in the end. The road was rough and I never thought I would see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was being prepared for more challenges and to be a blessing to others. I started living through a mantra positive forward movement.
I was made to be strong mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The lessons I learned in my low place help me to live out of gratitude now. I really want to use my experiences to help others. Life has its share of ups and downs and I will continue to face challenges; it wouldn't be life without it. One thing I noticed is that those situations don't shake me. I can bounce back from them so quickly and move with grace during hard times, for that I am grateful. I don't practice yoga as much as I'd like to, but the lessons I took away from yoga, like gratitude & meditation are with me every day.
I have been making yoga part of my daily routine. Getting back on my mat has been beneficial. November has proved to be a great month full of changes.