February 10, 2013

6/52 Weeks of Gratitude

52 Weeks of More gratitude. More hope. More love.

Sand between my toes, the sound of crashing waves silencing my busy mind and gently pushing me into the moment, the pandanus trees surrounding the beach. This was Burleigh Heads on my Saturday afternoon walk. Oh, and not to forget the grey cat on a lead enjoying the beach (I swear the dogs looked more confused than anyone. I wish I had a photo but I was a little embarrased to ask.)

With the promise of 'Tension-free neck and shoulders' and the personal story on healing grief and loss through yoga by Nikki, aka The Wholefood Mama, I indulged in buying a copy of Australian Yoga. It gave me that little push I needed to get on the yoga mat to stretch and breathe. Gratitude for yoga and meditation. It really brings me peace.

Sorting through photos I was warmly reminded of this splash of colour in the Botanical Gardens from my recent Sydney trip. 

Cassandra at Pendulum Body Therapies knows what she's doing and honestly I felt like my neck could spin 360 after the magic she worked on my neck and shoulders.

On my way home from work on two occasions this week I drove towards a rainbow. Gratitude always for the changing beauty of nature.  

Why bother practicing gratitude in the first place?

This week has been quite a challenge and a bit of a blur- my first full week at the new job- get up, rush around, do yoga, shower, eat and be at the desk by 8.30am! I haven't worked for about 5 months so needless to say I found this routine quite exhausting and rather overwhelming.  It's very hard to feel grateful if I'm feeling overwhelmed and stressed.  

So what role does gratitude play in managing stress? This is a great article with simple ideas on how to practice gratitude. I'm like a fish in a bowl, needing to be regularly reminded on why I should bother practicing gratitude at all! The following from Bush really resonated with me:
"Gratitude is the antidote to our most stressful thoughts. In an environment of gratitude, negative emotions cannot thrive. Dr. Robert Emmons, a positive psychologist, has shown how practicing gratitude can raise your happiness level. Neuroscientist Rick Hanson, Ph.D., promotes the practice of "taking in the good' because it deactivates our bodies' stress response and counteracts anxiety and depressive moods. 
Focusing our stressed minds on the things that we're grateful for is like dousing a fire with cool water. Gratitude is habit-forming. With some practice, we can develop the habit of turning our attention to the plethora of blessings in our lives. Gratitude is not about ignoring the hard things in life; it is about honoring the gifts." 
This week I'm going to try practicing morning gratitude. On waking I'm going to think of three things I feel grateful for. Sounds like a good way to start the day.


  1. Oh sweet Burleigh, love walking along there in the early morning. Lovely gratefuls :)

  2. Oh I love that, I usually think of all the people I am grateful for on my nightly meditation but i feel a real connection to what you have said about waking and thinking of things to be grateful for , so I shall join you on this. Life is special and precious and even more so when you see it. Beautiful post, thanks for sharing.xxx

  3. Really beautiful post Nat. Especially in light of the challenges that have come up over the week. Love xo

  4. I wrote about yoga this week too, but I'm no good at it. I have always found it extremely hard to 'relax the mind'. My idea of a relaxed mind is one that is always thinking through the possibilities. I'm working to overcome that! I'm thinking about it (of course!).

    I'm grateful that you are linking up with us. It's lovely to see you. x

  5. Come and play my giveaway xx

  6. I can't wait to feel the sand between my toes again, but I have to confess to liking the snow still. I'm like a child with Christmas...it's sad, but true.

    Nina x

  7. Mmmmm. What a lovely post. Gratitude always calms a heart. Thanks for your words!

  8. Oh thank you lovely lady for the mention here and for your interest in reading my story in the Yoga Journal. I love the photo of the beach and the pandanus, seeing pandanus always makes me homesick for my home away from home - Byron Bay. I love that notion of gratitude being like cool water on a fire to a stressed mind. Practicing gratitude and its cousin 'living with grace' is simple life changing stuff. Love your blog x

  9. Such an important concept, and one we could all dwell on more. Lovely post and blog!

  10. Such lovely thoughts and comments from all of you. I am very grateful x


thank you for sharing your thoughts. i love reading each and every comment x