Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Wanting it all:

Bring more good into your life by focusing on what you have and being grateful.
By Christina Brown
Date: February 22 2014
Editor Rating:

I feel so grateful to be able to come back from a reviving holiday and teach what I love and am passionate about.

I feel lucky as I get to do what I find continually intriguing and fabulous and I know there are lots of people out there who feel their work don’t really fit them well. There may be resentment at resuming those tasks and fears about not getting exactly what you want, exactly the way you want.

It's part of our human experience and it seems no one is immune - prompted by a gunned-up armaguard truck on the road, my 4-year-old and I had a discussion about robbers a few weeks ago. The concepts ruminated until several hours later she asked me where Santa lived. I (not for the first time) explained about the North Pole. Then she asked if robbers could get there, concerned about someone stealing all the presents. I did some fast-talking (heavy snow, reindeer guardians, protective elves) and her mind ws at ease. But I rest my case: from an early age, we worry about not getting enough.

So how can we bring more of this good stuff into our lives, homes, duties and psyches? 

In my yoga class, we practice ‘letting go’ of the struggle that arises when things are not exactly as we’d wish them. When you are stressed upset, worried or angry, you are living in a state of physiological arousal. Their sympathetic nervous systems ("fight or flight") will be activated more than is healthy for you. This occurs too when you worry and struggle to get what you feel you are missing.

You can use yoga breathing to activate the ‘rest and restore’ part of the nervous system (the parasympathetic nervous system) by prolonging your exhalation when compared to the inhalation. You can even (under the guidance of a teacher please) add on a pause at the end of the exhalation. Here you can drop into an amazing stillness, where a wonderful calmness pervades.

But if you haven’t yet tried yoga, or you do and you still worry about ‘getting yours’ you can also practice gratitude. A meditation teacher on Koh Samui read me this quote by Melody Beattie about 10 years ago and it has remained with me since:

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Shift your thoughts away from what you feel you don’t have and can’t possibly be happy without. Move your focus instead to the abundant things you do have.

As you feel the good feelings of Christmas, New Year and a January holiday fall away, remember all that joy and relaxation is contained within us already. Nothing needs to change and we only need to connect with it again.

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