7 Tools for Cultivating Gratitude

gratitude-giving-thanks-fall leafIn times of loss and grief it can be challenging to feel grateful let alone practice gratitude on a consistent basis. When we feel disappointed, let down, hurt, resentful and angry we are blocking our ability to feel grateful.  Here I share with you a handful of the tools I use to cultivate, deepen and expand my experience of gratitude.

  1. Embrace Beauty. Look for opportunities to appreciate beauty in your life. Learn to marvel in the small things as well as the “Masterpieces.” Soak in all kinds of beauty. For example, I pause and find gratitude in nature by seeing a humming bird or butterfly, or in a beautiful piece of movement executed with precision and grace, in a delicious meal with an inspiring presentation. The possibilities are endless.
  2. Cultivate Grace. Spiritually speaking, grace is a gift. It is not earned. We cannot create, control or will it. One way to practice grace is to practice receiving. Another way to experience grace is to practice forgiveness. Don’t focus on who is wrong or right- in the realm of grace and moving toward gratitude there is no room for blame. Gently practicing grace daily will increase your openness and willingness to experience gratitude.
  3. Be Grateful for the Hard Times. Remember, everything has a beginning and an end. All things will pass, eventually, the good (happy) times as well as the sad.
  4. Practice Humility. Recognize your limitations. As I recognize my limitations without judging myself about them, I open the door a little bit to humility. Humility reminds me that judgement of myself or others serves no purpose and in that moment i am grateful.
  5. Say “Thank you!” Receiving compliments and truly allowing them to sink in is another way to deepen your gratitude practice. When someone gives you a compliment, consider pausing and taking a breath. Receive the gift of a compliment by allowing yourself to feel it. And, say “Thank you!”
  6. Practice Gratitude Journaling. Cultivate a daily or weekly journaling practice – focused on gratitude. Being in a place of gratitude opens us up to acceptance and ultimately, love. We simply cannot be in anger, frustration, irritation or disappointment and simultaneously be in gratitude. Journaling is a wonderful way to change your emotional state and move into joy, appreciation and love. I spend 10-15 minutes daily in gratitude journaling. My writing includes giving thanks for my parents, husband sister, cousins, friends, employees, colleagues, teachers, mentors, my body, my health… you get the idea.
  7. Write Thank You Notes. I gave myself a challenge many years ago to write 3-5 Thank You notes a day. At first, it seemed like a lot. As the years went by, writing Thank You notes made it to the top of my to do list and is something I greatly look forward to. In addition to putting me in the mental and emotional space to be grateful, it has improved all of my relationships.

“If the only prayer you say your entire life is ‘thank you’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart

I encourage you to use whichever tools resonate with you and to choose this profound practice.  Make it a daily and active practice.  In order to see real and lasting change in our lives we must commit to and recommit to active practices.  Watch how gratitude expands in all areas of your life.

In thanks,

Geneviève's signature with nature shot

 

 

Pilates and Perfect Health: The Path to Perfect Health begins April 2016!

Balance-perfecthealth post

As many of you know, last August I became a Chopra Center Instructor. I am very excited to announce that I’ll be teaching the Perfect Health Program at  Body Fundamentals on 5 consecutive Sundays beginning this April 3, 2016. Every Sunday covers a different lesson, each building upon the other.

The Perfect Health program was created by Drs. Deepak Chopra and David Simon.  It represents the integration between the principles of modern science and insights from the world’s timeless wisdom traditions. It’s received worldwide acceptance in both the medical and nonmedical communities and is a comprehensive  movement toward total health.

Spring 2016 Perfect Health program dates:

  • Sunday, April 3rd, 1-3:30pm Lesson I
  • Sunday, April 10th, 1-3:30pm Lesson II
  • Sunday, April 17th, 1-3:00pm Lesson III
  • Sunday, April 24th, 1-4:00pm Lesson IV
  • Sunday, May 1st, 1-3:00pm Lesson V

June and Sept. 2016

I’ll also be offering the Perfect Health program as a mini retreat in June (23rd-26th) and in September (22nd-25th). You can take the full program as often as you like (see 2016 dates here).

Pilates and Perfect Health- a powerful combination.

The Perfect Health program is a natural complement to the Pilates focus that continues to be the foundation of our work at Body Fundamentals. The program will assist you in creating healing and transformation in your life through using the best practices of mind/body medicine from around the world combined with the beautiful wisdom of Ayurveda.

You’ll learn: meditation techniques, how to develop a daily Ayurvedic routine, understanding Ayurvedic herbs and nutrition, cooking and eating for better health, conscious communication techniques to improve your personal and professional relationships and gentle yoga postures. For more information, please visit my blog Page here.

Please call me with questions or to pre-register at 520-299-6541.

With gratitude and love,

Geneviève

Talk Less, Breathe More.

stones and ocean
Practice breathing with every movement.

Breath is Life. And as we know from Vedanta philosophy, Yoga and Meditation, “Where attention goes, energy flows.”

Take a moment to center yourself before moving by bringing your attention to your breath.  Fill up your lungs  on your inhalation, empty your lungs on your exhalation. Let your breath be easy and soft to begin.

Try connecting your breath your to your  movement during your pilates sessions this week. Be easy with  your breath and your body. Try not to make this a strong effort. There is tremendous power in learning how to move without tension.  Our bodies are designed to move well and with ease.  They’re designed to move freely. Increase your awareness of how and where you hold tension.  If you’re holding your breath,  pause, slow down and consciously exhale.  Try  to practice without a lot of chatter, internally or externally.

Talk less , Breathe more.

The benefits of this kind of awareness and focus on your breath encourages calm and relaxation,  helps focus muscular engagement and release,  and allows for ease of movement.

Keep Breathing,

 

emailavatarb3               Keep Breathing words on top of nature photo

 

Previously Published in October 2011