Gratitude? Gratitude.

August 4, 2011

in Infertility, Meditation, Mindfulness

My yoga teacher, Jane, harps and harps on gratitude. Got something good going on? Show gratitude! Got something bad going on? Show gratitude! And she’s always trying to open our hips because “open hips = happy heart.” And a happy heart is a grateful one.

One day, after a very stretchy sequence to eke open our hips more! more! more!, Jane closed our practice with this quote during savasana:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. — Melody Beattie

I practically wept on the mat.

My journey thus far flashed before my eyes.  My empty arms and longing heart gave way to my fantastically full home — basketballs, extra laundry, teddy bears and the two children who leave those things all over. My very dark days where I nearly lost the will to live were juxtaposed with the brilliant light I found in the infertility blogging community. My sickly, failure of a body has evolved into something I love, both in the way it looks and all it can do. Even the recent chaos presented to me is balanced by the calm stillness I find when I draw in my attention solely to  the space on my mat.

In my mind’s eye were a thousand tao symbols, each one symbolizing duality joining into unity.

  • Day + night = a day.
  • Good + evil = a human.
  • Broken + forgiveness = wholeness.
  • Infertile + superfertile  = open adoption.
  • Self-loathing + self love = me.

It was bliss. And I was grateful, for every single thread in the tapestry that is my life.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Valerie Power August 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm

AMAZING! I have tears in my eyes!


Heather August 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm

You have no idea how much I needed this today.


luna August 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm

your mind’s eye is brilliant.
duality joining into unity. I love it.
love you.


Summer August 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm

I, too, needed to see that quote today. Thank you for this post.


Laughing Yoga Mama August 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Gratitude has been my practice of late as well…thank you for sharing it so beautifully in all its simplicity and complexity.
Namaste :)


Meredith August 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm

This post is one of my new favorites. It is especially comforting and uplifting to me today, and I know I’ll come back to it in the future. Thank you so much Lori.


a August 4, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Thanks for the reminder that gratitude is an important part of life…


Tonya August 4, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I love this post!! Very moving and thought provoking …. and a good reminder to give thanks for what I have rather than focusing on what I don’t. Thanks for this!


tera August 4, 2011 at 8:12 pm

I practically wept on my laptop. You have a gorgeous soul and I’m so glad to have found a place where I can melt away all my insecurities and feel one with this community. Thank you Lori!


Han August 4, 2011 at 11:11 pm

I’m awake at this hour because of frustration and depression and anxiety. Soon I will fall asleep – with thoughts of gratitude and a smile. Thanks for this post.


gingerandlime August 5, 2011 at 6:29 am

This is what i needed to hear today. Thank you.


Brenna August 5, 2011 at 7:00 am

I really needed to read this today. I have such admiration for you Lori, and I’m glad you have it for yourself, too! You really should. I’m definitely going to copy the quote for future inspiration.


Kathy August 5, 2011 at 9:39 am

Thank you for this today Lori. I really needed to read it. I am in a sort of post-move/new home/unpacking and overwhelmed with what to do next funk… At moments like this it really helps to be reminded of just how much we (and I) have to be grateful for in our lives. Love the quote that you shared from your yoga teacher.

Over the past month I have not made time for formal exercise (aerobics or yoga) and miss all that working out regularly brings to my mind, body and soul. I know I need to prioritize getting back on the wagon ASAP, as I know it always helps me out of these funks. Thanks again for sharing! I count you as one of the many things/people that I am grateful for in my life. xoxo


onceamother August 5, 2011 at 9:41 am

I loved this post. loved it.


Laura aka LaLaGirl August 5, 2011 at 9:44 am

That was so beautiful!


Kir August 5, 2011 at 10:00 am

I have copied that saying and hung it here in my cubicle, to remind me, to assure, to make it clear….this was just stunningly beautiful and I am SO GRATEFUL you wrote it and then shared it with us. My heart just opened with joy at the thought of what good things might be coming if I am just grateful.


Amy a/k/a HonestConvoGal August 5, 2011 at 10:16 am

Thank you for this. I found you via a Kir tweet. I have two openly adopted boys as well. One of them is facing an illness that we’re just beginning to learn about. I was struggling with feeling overwhelmed. I need this. I needed to feel grateful. Thank you.


Esperanza August 5, 2011 at 10:33 am

I loved this post and I’m trying to decide what I should say here, as I’m thinking of writing a blog post about gratitude myself. I was really taken by that quote. I’m trying to decide what I think of it. Can gratitude really do that much? Probably it can.

I’ve been trying to infuse my own life with gratitude but I’ve noticed a rather disturbing trend. I find that I seek gratitude when I’m feeling envious of someone else’s life and I can feel grateful for what I have only (or most easily) when I think of those who have less than I. Like when I’m frustrated that I have to share one washer/dryer with 8 units and pay $5 to do a load when everyone I know has laundry in their house, I only feel better if I think of all the people who share kitchens and bathrooms and other stuff with other families, or who don’t have laundry machines at all! Then I feel grateful for what I have. That probably isn’t the best way to be grateful, huh? I’m going to delve more deeply into this in my post.

But I loved your post. I loved that you can look back on all the suffering in your life and feel grateful for what you’ve been through and what you have. That is truly a blessing. Gratitude is a wonderful thing.

Thanks for getting me thinking yet again.


Amber's Crazy Bloggin' Canuck August 5, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Powerfully poignant as always, my dear. That quote has been bookmarked!


Sugar Loco - Jenny August 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Gratitude is all we’ve got really! And if you focus too much on everything wrong it becomes an ugly,ugly world. I’m thrilled you had such an awesome revelation!!


Jo (Mediamum) August 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Beautiful, honest, resonant and personal. Thank you Lori!


shannon August 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm

you have a very wise teacher! Thanks for sharing.


St. Elsewhere August 6, 2011 at 1:10 am

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. ”

I love the post. Your Yoga teacher is very wise.


rajean August 6, 2011 at 11:44 am

Beautiful post, Lori. I’m grateful for having you as a friend. To think, I was first drawn to you by your animated avatar on twitter. This comes full circle.

And, ‘open hips = happy heart?’ Hmm, was that written by a man? :-)


Sheri August 6, 2011 at 11:49 am

I LOVED the quote about gratitude and have copied it into my file of great quotes to read for the yoga classes I teach. What a great reminder to be grateful.

I’ve been finding myself near tears (in a good way) more and more often, as I realize that “this” (right now) is a wonderful moment to be alive. Right here. Right now. And when the realization hits, that’s when the emotions of gratitude (and sometimes the tears) arise.

I am so very grateful for my life and for all of my blessings. Thanks for the reminder.


Jjiraffe August 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm

What a beautiful post. I love these lessons. And I love how you equaled out the good with the bad, thus achieving understanding and gratitude. That’s my kind of math ;)


Quiet Dreams August 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I love this post more than I can eloquently say.


jenny - sugar loco June 4, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I’m here to say YES again! And I’m so glad you posted that gratitude note in our FB group. I am grateful for you :)


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