I'm in a bit of a Tofurkey coma (I think I'm on protein overload) but I just couldn't let this day pass without a little blogging. This morning I combined my favorite Thanksgiving Day tradition -- a walk in the woods -- with another favorite daily activity of mine -- yoga. It was a warm, beautiful, sunny day here and being in nature always makes me grateful to be alive, so I started this day off with some nature and yoga in nature time.
As I walked in the woods, I reflected upon the last year of my life, utterly amazed at all of the wonderful things, people, events, and circumstances that have shown up. I breathed deeply and gave thanks with every step I took, reminded of the fact that every step I've taken this past year has led me here -- to this perfect spot.
I am thankful, yes, that's for sure. I try to live in gratitude, knowing that whatever shows up is always perfect. This isn't always easy and it can be challenging to not default to ungrateful, whiney thoughts. But if there's one thing I've learned this past year, it's the value of letting yourself be taken.
While walking on the trail today, I let myself be taken by nature. I dropped the thoughts in my head and surrendered to the sights, sounds, and scents around me.
I let myself be taken by my yoga practice. There was a point where I was moving and it seemed as if the yoga was doing me rather than the other way around. I could feel my breath initiating and supporting the movement. I was completely taken.
My life isn't much different. Oh, yes, I have those times I want to muscle it because I want something to work out a certain way. I get attached to thoughts or people or circumstances. Then I remember to let life make love to me. All I need to do is allow myself to be taken.
Today is a day of gratitude, yes. There's a lot of talk about the importance of gratitude. I wholeheartedly agree. I think allowing yourself to be taken is important too.
I know, I know -- all of this "let life make love to me" and "taken" stuff seems like the ramblings of a protein overload (and don't forget to throw in sugar overload as well -- damn, but that pumpkin cheesecake was delicious!), but I speak from experience here on the joy of being taken. When you're in the moment, fully BE in that moment. When you're practicing yoga, breathe and move and yet the yoga fully inhabit your body. When you're out in nature (or making love or playing with your children or snuggling with your dog or [insert personal scenario here]), let yourself be taken, fully engaged, present, surrendered to the love and beauty of the experience. If you do that, you can't help but feel gratitude. It will swell up inside of you without you even having to try or write up a gratitude list. My greatest Thanksgiving wish is for you to be taken.
I also want to thank each and every one of you and let you know that I am grateful for you! I am grateful for the fact that you read my yoga-related ramblings. I am grateful that you take the time to comment. I am grateful that you forward posts to friends or subscribe to my feed. I am grateful that every now and again something I write moves you or inspires you or helps you. Thank you!
And in the spirit of the holiday, here are two short videos for you:
and here's a cautionary tale about gratitude:
And, because food is somewhat central to this holiday, here are some yummy vegetarian recipes. Yum! Leftovers, anyone?
Happy Thanksgiving! May you be thankful, may you give, may you be taken.