The Ungrateful Practice favorite_border

Yoga Girl Daily - August 27th 2020

Author: Rachel Brathen

Topics: Thankful Thursday, Gratitude

Links: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

About the Episode

Today’s gratitude practice is unconventional - we are anchoring into something we are ungrateful for.

There is an idea, especially in the wellness industry, that everything happens for a reason and there is always a silver lining. Sometimes that just isn’t the case!

Instead of pretending to be grateful, tune in to anchor into the truth that is in your heart - and know that it is okay.


[00:42] Welcome to Yoga Girl Daily, happy Thursday and welcome to our gratitude of this week. Today I have a pretty unconventional gratitude practice for us, and maybe it's not so much as a gratitude practice as an invitation to gratitude. Let me explain. I want us all to take a moment to anchor into something that we are actually not grateful for. And this is something you don't hear a lot, especially on a yoga podcast or any podcast around wellbeing or self-care and things like that. But truth of the matter is, we don't have to be thankful for everything all the time, right? There's this big idea, I think, especially in the wellness community, that we should be grateful for everything that comes our way, right? And even hard things we should be grateful for them because everything has a silver lining, and everything happens for a reason and it is what it is. And you know, all those things that look really nice to write on an Instagram caption or in a beautiful, you know, meme or something like that. But actually, in reality, in practice, we know what just isn't true. And there's a lot of pressure sometimes around finding gratitude for challenging things that have come our way.

[02:10] So, instead of doing a traditional gratitude practice today, I want to give you an opportunity to identify something in your life that you're actually not grateful for, something in your life that you're actually not grateful happened. Just to have an opportunity to sit with that a little bit and to own the fact that you don't have to be grateful for it right away, maybe even ever. So, take a moment right now, just the way you are. You can close your eyes if it helps to place your hands somewhere to the body, just to make that connection, go right ahead. And then bringing your awareness to something in your life that you're not grateful for. It’s a radical thing for me to even speak those words out loud. Something in your life that you are not grateful for. And chances are your awareness is going to land somewhere super challenging, right?

[03:08] Somewhere really heavy, that whatever comes your way, it might be something deeply painful. Maybe something traumatic, maybe something from long ago could be something recent, but just notice where your awareness landed. And then check in if there's any part of you that feels at all guilty about the fact that you don't feel grateful, or if perhaps you have expressed gratitude for this thing, but it's actually not real. Cause we do that a lot. We do that pretty, pretty quickly, I think, you know, but in the end I'm happy that that happened because it taught me something or it moved me forward and actually deep inside you feel like, I don't feel that way. I'm not there. So, notice if this situation is something that you've expressed gratitude for, when you did it feel it, or try to convince yourself that you're grateful for it, even though you're not. So just an opportunity for you to get absolutely truthful with yourself around this challenging situation or this relationship or this thing that came your way, whatever it is.

[04:14] And if you're sensing in this moment that, yeah, it's actually true. I'm not grateful that this happened or I'm not grateful for this person. I think if we think about just the way the world is right now, right? The state of the world and the many challenging figures that are present in the world at a very, very large scale that we can probably think of one or two people that we're not grateful for this moment. So, if you can't connect to, if you can't connect to something deeply personally, you can also connect to something that's happening worldwide or anything that causes pain that maybe you're really able to anchor into the fact that this is just a challenge, right? We don't have to find a silver lining to everything. So, giving yourself permission to not feel grateful today, and then maybe our gratitude practice today becomes for our ability to discern between pain and trauma and the fact that silver linings don't happen all the time.

[05:13] Silver linings are not going to be found in every single thing that comes your way. And knowing that it is your right to decide for yourself when you are grateful and when you're just feeling pain. And if right now there is something in your life that's just feeling painful, then chances are what you need is permission to sit with that. Permission to be with that, permission to feel that pain, permission to complain, permission to talk about it, not feeling so rushed to turn it all around and gets a positive right back again. But just permission to be truthful with what's really here. And gratitude can come just for that ability to discern for ourselves, to make our own choices and to be sovereign in what we feel and how we choose to express those feelings as well. So, let's take a deep, full breath into that place, open the mouth and let it go. Thank you so much for practicing some discernment around gratitude today. It's been an important practice for me in my own life. Wishing you a beautiful rest of the day. Yoga Girl Daily will be back tomorrow.

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