What do you have to be thankful for? This week, I have decided to theme my yoga classes around the concept of gratitude. It's really easy for us to get wrapped in wanting so much for ourselves that we forget what we DO have. I'm completely guilty of this. What brought me to this theme was my experience earlier today.
This morning I was on my way back from an interview. I'm currently in search of a part time job- around 20-25 hours max. With Kevin deploying soon, I'm anxious to fill my time. If I'm being completely honest, it's also a bit of a hit to my ego to work less, and in turn make less money. As a part time grad student and yoga instructor, a side job would compliment my schedule nicely. The position I was interviewed for starts at 30 hours, with hours soon to expand to 40. This definitely was not what I had in mind but as I said, my ego was involved and thus my focus was lost. As a backstory, last fall I left a full time job (a miserable one) but nonetheless, I drove myself to the ground trying to balance life with teaching yoga, grad school, and full time work. However, I have been so fixated on finding more work to the point that I considered spreading myself thin again. Being a student and part time worker was never where I imagined myself at 25, soon to be 26 years old. I thought of how maybe I could give up some yoga classes to make it work, maybe even drop my course load...
But I started to think...I wasn't being grateful for my current situation. I had this mindset that what I currently had in life wasn't good enough. I needed to work more, make more money, be more. Do you see the theme here? More, more, more. This "more" mindset required me to push everything that I love to the side.
Giving up some of my yoga classes? I get to connect and guide others to transform physically and mentally. This doesn't even feel like work.
Sacrificing my free time while also risking my performance in school? Right now I actually have the time to learn and benefit my future as a Nutritionist. Being able to focus on my future was a strong reason why I left my previous job. I wasn't productive doing both.
Comparing myself to my peers/colleagues and feeling self conscious for not working a 9-5? All of our paths are unique! How fortunate am I to have the resources and opportunity to pursue what I actually love?! It was almost an impossible thought to be able to find a studio who would hire me so soon and here I am, working for three!
Immediately I started to feel so much gratitude for my life at its current standpoint. I didn't need more. I had everything. My feelings of slight shame and anxiety shifted when I shifted my perspective. While it's okay to want more for ourselves, we have to learn to appreciate what we have right now in order to achieve happiness. Otherwise, happiness becomes this place we're always striving to be. It then becomes this unattainable "destination," rather than what it really is, a journey. More than likely, what you have today were among the things you only hoped for at one point.
As I have encouraged my students, list 3 things you have to be thankful for and I bet you'll end up with a list a lot longer than that.