How to Find Gratitude in Challenging Times favorite_border

Yoga Girl Daily - July 30th 2020

Author: Rachel Brathen

Topics: Thankful Thursday, Gratitude

Links: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

About the Episode

We will forever remember the year 2020 as one that turned our lives upside-down in so many ways.

But, with all struggle comes the opportunity to find gratitude.

Take some time today to reflect on the biggest challenge you have faced this year. Is there a silver lining within it to discover? If not, that’s okay. But if you can keep gratitude in the back of your mind as you navigate through this struggle, your entire outlook may change.

Tune in to find the light within the dark, no matter how small.

Transcript

[01:25] Welcome to Yoga Girl Daily, happy Thursday, and welcome to our Thankful Thursday episode of this week. So, time for our gratitude practice, we all know gratitude has been proven to be able to make us feel better about our lives. So, today I actually have a pretty challenging practice in mind. Bear with me a little bit. This is a practice that I have been really immersed in all throughout the year. Not because I’ve wanted to do it, but because I literally have felt like I haven't had another choice. And that is the practice of looking for ways to bring gratitude into challenging situations. Now, this is a challenging thing to do. It's a nice thing in theory, a nice thing to think about, contemplate, but is it really possible to be moving through a really challenging time, to have something super hard come our ways, and then feel grateful about that?

[02:21] What I have understood throughout this year, you know, 2020 really is the year that keeps on giving. It's been a year we will all remember for the rest of our lives with so much pain coming our way in so many different ways. And it feels like new things just keep happening. There's so much going on in this world. The world has been turned upside down and inside out, and we have all felt the effects of that. Now I don't think it's possible to move from a place of feeling despair, of feeling loss, of moving through a really, really challenging time and then immediately jump to gratitude. But there is a way for us to keep the mindset of gratitude along the way as we navigate through that difficulty. Even if it's just having the looking of being on the lookout for something to be grateful for that connects to that situation. Now, oftentimes the first way that gratitude comes our way after having moved through a hard time, it's usually not through that hard thing in and of its own, but things connected to it.

[03:34] So, here's a little practice that I want us all to do today. I want you to take a moment right now, close your eyes and just in your mind, you know, walk through all the weird, intense, terrible, horrible, hard things that have happened to you in 2020 so far. And then see if there's something that really stands out as a challenge, something painful, something really difficult that happened to you, or that came your way this year. See just where your mind goes to automatically. And then take a moment to really linger there, feeling into that experience, that situation, the people involved, you know, what was it that happened and how did you feel navigating through that? Now opening up a little window into the possibility of finding a silver lining to this situation. Now time has a lot to do with our ability to find silver linings and feel grateful after hard things have happened.

[04:33] So if this is something that you're currently moving through or something you're still feeling big effects from, something that's fairly recent, then chances are it's going to be more challenging to find that silver lining, but in might still be there. So, around this challenging situation, can you think of something good that came out on the other end of that? And it can be something super small. Honestly, the gratitude we feel connected to a hard, hard time can be really tiny compared to the magnitude of the pain, right? And that's okay. It's more about having that mindset of opening up to the fact that even in hard times, even really bad things that happen to us sometimes come along with good things as well. And just by focusing on those good things, by looking for the light in that darkness, you might even be able to magnify that light and to make that thing that you're feeling just a sliver of gratitude for, into a bigger piece of the whole experience.

[05:34] And as you're contemplating this challenging situation, if no gratitude comes your way whatsoever, that's okay. We don't have to jump to gratitude or pretend to feel grateful if gratitude isn't there, right? But just contemplating it opens the door to maybe one day in the future, actually being able to anchor into something that's connected to that hard time that then you can feel true gratitude for. So, that is our practice today. Really zeroing in on one experience that was really truly hard and challenging this year. And then finding something good that came along with it, or that happened as a result of that, or something that you found within yourself at the end of that, or some sort of growth, some silver lining, something to be grateful for, however small, and then taking a moment to really linger with that gratitude, knowing that feeling grateful in connection to something bad that happened, it doesn't negate the fact that that bad thing was there, right?

[06:31]? As human beings, we have the ability to hold multiple things at once, right? We can move through loss and also find things to be grateful for. We can feel sadness and have moments of joy as well. You're able to hold it all. You don't have to choose bad or good, right? But usually life is actually a big roller coaster of all of those things mingling and becoming one. Thank you so much for anchoring into this practice with me. I know it can be a difficult one. So, this one could be good to journal a little bit on today. Give yourself a little more time to really anchor into this experience. How are you feeling about it now and what is something good that still came with it in the end? Wishing you a beautiful rest of this day. Thank you so much for listening. Yoga Girl Daily will be back tomorrow.

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