With Patience & Gratitude we find JOY

The Universe is amazing. It often sends us exactly what we need to learn. This week is Thanksgiving which makes last week my birthday week. Usually I look forward to my birthday, in part because for me it signifies the beginning of the festive holiday season. This year was different. I was not feeling any joy; just the urge to wish away the holidays and hit fast forward through this Covid Winter.

These feelings are so contrary to what our practice asks of us; to appreciate the journey and find the joy in each day. It goes against the work we do cultivating patience in our bodies on the mat and our minds off of it. So the Universe decided to remind me of my true practice when I tripped and fell during a trail run this past weekend and pulled several muscles in my right thigh. Thankfully it does not appear to require anything other than care and patience through a slow recovery.

These principles of Gratitude and Patience became my theme for my classes this past week and as my students warmed up (and I watched) I shared with them a poem by Rumi:

Patience is not sitting and waiting, it is foreseeing.

It is looking at the thorn and seeing the rose, looking at the night and seeing the day.

Lovers are patient and know that the moon needs time to become full.

As they flowed through a challenging asana series I asked them to use their practice of patience in several balancing poses. When they wiggled or fell I shared this Haiku about patience with them and asked them to connect to their humility in order to grow.

Haiku:

Patience, a lesson

In humility, allowing

Us time for growth…

Our bodies teach us so much about this practice that we can bring with us off the mat.. and once again my body is teaching me. Ironically, this injury cheered me up and pulled me out of my unhappy thought cycle. I am very grateful that this pain is temporary. I am grateful for the small improvements each day– being able to access Revolved Triangle pose with a block today gave me true joy. I am finding patience with the belief that all will be ok in time even though not as fast as I would hope. Just as I am cultivating patience in my healing body, I am also working to cultivate it in my mind. Our world is not healing as fast as any of us would like so we have to be patient. However, patience is not passivity, rather a practice in mindfulness. We can use this time to grow and learn and foresee; we can connect to our humility and grow from it.

As we move into this season of giving thanks (even though it may not look like it has in the past), we can still connect to our gratitude and find patience. I realize how thankful I am for the opportunity this practice gives me to continue to grow…with Patience and Gratitude we find JOY. Happy Thanksgiving and Namaste.