Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Satya: For This I Am Thankful

I'm not so great at the Thankfulness month or the gratitude journal. Consistent, daily practice of gratitude is important, and while I'd like to think I keep Christmas in my heart, past, present and future, I'm still working on Thanksgiving.

So here, my dearest friends, are the things for which I am most thankful. They aren't in the order of the things I most appreciate, they're simply in the order in which they pour out of my fingers.

My body works.
Sometimes there are tiny aspects of my body that don't work so well. I have a bum knee right now, and I've managed to mangle my hand several times today alone. Tan is a place I'll never visit. But I can get to the places I need to go without worry or strife, and the trepidation I feel stepping out onto an ice rink for the first time in ten years or tying my bikini on in double knots are simply distractions from the truth: I've got it pretty good.

My family accepts my crazy.
While I haven't completed my MD or JD (or a doctorate in anything), I know that my family trusts in my process of finding my way in this world. I did not know this until after I had turned 30, but parents just want their children to be happy. They might pretend that they want their children to earn millions of dollars, have a variety of degrees or babies or sports cars, but the reality is that THE ONLY THING THEY WANT IS HAPPINESS. After telling students this for years, I finally heard myself say it and thought... well, maybe that's true for me, too.

My work is meaningful.
When I walked away from my corporate-ish job and into the world of self-employment I had a very hard time answering the question, "So what do you do?" without blubbering and trying to change the subject or causally dropping appetizers down my dress (true). When you come from a family of doctors (MD and PhD and in some cases both), "I teach yoga" sounds about as meaningful as, "I alphabetize spice cabinets for people." It would be untruthful to say I can now comfortably approach the people who attended college with me and tell them what I do, particularly if they are also doctors, lawyers, and professors (which they are). But that does not change the fact that people who work with me say thank you, and they don't have to. In fact, they don't even have to come back to my class, and yet they do, and they say thank you. They say, "That's just what I needed," or "no one else would answer this question" or "I am too embarrassed to ask my doctor."

My deep and lasting friendships.
Despite the fact that I was in a royally bad mood for about five years, I've managed to find some really good folks who are not afraid to tell me the truth, even when it is hard. My best friends are the people I admire the most: they believe in what they do and the want to have fun. Forget the American Dream (which eludes all of us) find happiness and people who answer when you call as often as they reach out to you.

My appetite for learning is insatiable.
While it has gotten me into a few binds, like no lunch hour during high school, an attempt at a triple major in college, and a resume that leads most potential employers to believe that I'm 20 years older than I am, I am grateful for this. I want to get the most out of the minutes I have here. I'm a bit Mulder... #thetruthisoutthere

The yogis say, "satyameva jayate," which means, "the truth is always the victor". It is, in fact, the truth that we are most grateful for. It is what we seek, the kernel of wisdom that remains once all of the false illusions fall away. When we practice gratitude, we are really practicing truth. Satya.

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