How does one maintain a daily practice of gratitude when not feeling happy, satisfied, or balanced, but rather, ill, grumpy, or in pain?
Gratitude certainly doesn't come easy on days when I have the "blahs". Pulling a muscle almost immediately upon return from vaca, to go from daily running to flat on my back and missing work. Being surrounded by people at work and home who have been suffering for weeks from the flu, having fought it off for this long--and now I wake up with a sore throat.
...These are days that I do not feel especially grateful, and yet, I can still find many aspects of life and myself for which I can be thankful. It definitely takes extra effort, and I've obviously missed several days, but here goes. The thing is, these are the days when I need it most! I'm naturally grateful when I wake up happy and content; life is going well and everything is easy. Then it's easy to yawn, stretch, and as I smile inside and out, think: What a great day! But what about days when I long to keep my eyes closed and shut out the world for lack of sleep, worrisome thoughts, or an ill body? How do I push beyond and find my will to remain grateful--to remember to stay grateful? I just do it! Like now!
So here I am, grateful for remembering that I need to find gratitude when I feel the exact opposite desire; grateful for a good place to live with roof over my head, affordable rent, and Hygge; grateful to have the gift of work I love, where I work with people I love; grateful for financial prosperity that allows me freedom; grateful for a healthy body that functions pretty darn well most of the time; grateful for friends that remind me to visualize what I hope for instead of being disappointed I don't have it; grateful for new friends who remind me to stay the course and old friends who comfort me when I can't; grateful for the sense of security and groundedness that has returned to my life; grateful for family that loves me despite my quirks and temperament (yeah, that's you Dad); grateful for my effusive creativity that I get to express in my work; grateful for supportive co-workers and loving school families; grateful for ability to run again because my knee is healing; grateful to have renewed my yoga sadhana at Satchidananda Ashram; grateful that I am able to visit the ashram; grateful for the passé temps I enjoy; and finally, grateful for feeling good and having survived the darkness.
Now, that's exactly what I needed! Now I can "rise and shine" to exclaim: "Life is great, what a great day"!