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What are you grateful for?

Today, this day of Thanksgiving, we tend to reflect more on all that we have and what we are grateful for. Today more than ever, we can use this gratitude for our benefit, to help us find within ourselves the courage to choose how we feel about things. Gratitude is something that we can use, wherever we are, as a tool to shift us out of a more negative state into a more positive state.

Many people today are missing their families, missing easier times where things were less uncertain. In truth, things are always uncertain, yet we have had the benefit of illusion; for the Tao says that security is a misconception and everything is impermanent. The times when we could go about our lives without consciously aware of these factors were much easier times indeed. However, it is also during these times where we get shaken to the core that we have the most potential for growth. Is growth a desirable thing in our lives?

All of the spiritual texts talk about the growth of the individual being important; some even claim it is why we are here and that it is the most important element of our lives. Today is a day that I, personally, am grateful for the growth I can see in myself throughout my life.

Today is a good day for me, it is moving day, a day of transition. I choose this day specifically so that I could focus on my gratitude as I move forward, loving saying good-bye to what was as I welcome what is coming. This is new for me. In the past I did not make my transitions so gracefully, I did not know how to "go with."

"Going with" is another life lesson I learned on the mat while training in Danzan Ryu in my 20's. When engaged in joint locking or Judo throws, if one does not go with, one gets broken. It was a brilliant life metaphor that took me another 20 years to understand, I was a person who fought everyone and everything. It hurt, it prolonged the pain, and at times I felt broken. Now I get to experience what life has to offer when I "go with." It is so much easier. It can be uncertain and frightening, but as I learn to trust that I will be ok through it all, I am far more equipped to walk through the fear and uncertainty much more quickly. I may even enjoy the fear and uncertainty at times!

I am grateful for these understandings, grateful for the time I spent on the mat which has provided the entire foundation for which my understanding of life rests. I am grateful for the life experience which has allowed me the opportunities for growth and the time to reflect back on it all. I am grateful to have discovered a life where I can trust in myself and the power that lights my path for me.

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